Multiple Pen Names

Plaid to the BoneWelcome to Day 18 of my 20Days/20Books Reader Appreciation to celebrate my 20th published work, Plaid to the Bone! I have my readers to thank for helping me reach this goal. Without you, I’d never have made this seven year journey to reach this milestone.

Now, wait a minute, I can hear some of you saying. According to this website, the first Mia Marlowe book wasn’t published till May 2010. True. But I had two other pen names prior to that–Diana Groe, under which I wrote my Viking romances starting with Maidensong (May 2006, Dorchester) and Emily Bryan, the nom de plume for my early Regency/Georgian/Victorian historicals. When Dorchester sadly went under and my agent negotiated for the rights to those books to return to me, I thought it would be less confusing to rebrand those stories under the Mia Marlowe name.

So all my literary children have come home, so to speak. When you tally them up, Plaid to the Bone makes number 20!

A hero by any other name is still just as hot!
Find Plaid to the Bone at: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo
And for my international friends: AmazonUK | AmazonCA | AmazonDE

I hadn’t really given the practice of multiple pen names much thought before I was published. Then I started looking around at how many of my favorite authors had written under more than one–Victoria Holt, Elizabeth Hoyt, Katie MacAlister, Jayne Ann Krentz and …

Jade Lee!

FBJadeLeeShe writes smoking hot historicals as Jade and even steamier contemporaries as Kathy Lyons. Confused yet? Don’t be. She’s still the same great author, no matter what sub-genre she turns her hand to.

And she’s hysterical to be around. Most writers I’ve met suffer from shyness (me included). We’re used to spending our days with imaginary people, so real ones are sometimes intimidating.

Not to Jade. You never have to wonder what she’s thinking. She’ll tell you!

I first got hooked on her Tigress series. Thanks to Jade, I have lived the life of a 19th century Chinese woman. Fascinating. Here’s the ebook she’s offered to give to a lucky commenter today:

What the Bride Wore one of Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten!

What the Bride WoreJade Lee’s hot Bridal Favors series is set in a daring, high-energy Regency world where deep longings, secret scandals, and the competition for social stature are all set against the glittering weddings of the season.

Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle finally has the funds he always pretended to have and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she’s afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Grant Benton.

And as Kathy Lyons, she’s giving away One Night in the Spa!

One Night in the SpaWhat starts out as a simple massage treatment for spa manager David’s best friend Kim, turns into a night of seduction and sexual discovery.

Always relegated to the friend zone, David is determined to show Kim what she’s been missing…one erogenous zone at a time. Sure, their friendship is on the line. And sure, David’s hiding a motive larger than either him or Kim. But the second his hands touch her smooth skin, he just doesn’t care anymore.

Kim’s been so focused on the loss of her sports career that she’s had no time for romance or sex. But her response to David can’t be denied. Is it just that her body’s been missing out, or could her heart be involved too?

One Night with a Rake

One Night with a RakeThis seems to be a day of One Nighters! In our countdown of my backlist books, we’ve reached Book 2 in the Royal Rakes series. (Book 3–Between a Rake and a Hard Place comes out next January!)

Since the death of his fiancée, Nathaniel Colton‘s polished boots have rested beneath the beds of countless wayward wives and widows of the ton. So seducing Lady Georgette should pose no problem. But the beautiful reformist is no easy conquest. To woo her, Nate will have to make her believe he cares about someone besides himself—and no one is more surprised than Nate when he realizes he actually does.

Read an excerpt here.

The Prize

We have 4 goodies up for grabs today–a download of Plaid to the Bone from Kensington, ebooks of What the Bride Wore & One Night in the Spa from Jade, and a print version of One Night with a Rake from me! Remember your comment also enters you in the drawing for the Grand Prize: a Kindle Paperwhite!

Here’s my question: I’ve been toying with the idea of writing some contemporary/romantic suspense stories. Do you think I should use a different pen name for those novels or, like Lisa Kleypas, keep them all under one?

45 thoughts on “Multiple Pen Names

  1. Aretha says:

    I think keep them under one would be great !

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’m fine with authors writing under different names. Some fans and critics can’t handle it when an author decides to go into another genre and don’t give the books a fair critique.

  3. Janie McGaugh says:

    I think, overall, using the same name is better, so you’ll have the name recognition.

  4. Quilt Lady says:

    Keep them under one. I sometimes get confused when arthors use different pen names. When I love an author I try to keep up with the different names but sometimes I loose track.

  5. Samantha H. says:

    Keep the same because I would be more likely to buy a book by an author that I already read than from a new author. It’s hard to remember a different name for an author that I already read.

  6. Sandy Xiong says:

    I would like for the author to just keep it under the same name because then someone it adds more advantage to a book if it’s from an author I’ve read. If it was by a author that I’ve not heard of yet then I feel reluctant to read it but it is like a cover/title choice for me.

  7. BETH SHEEHE says:

    Keep the same name. It is just easier to keep track of all of their books.

  8. Armenia says:

    Keep the same name. You have such a large fan base that Mia Marlowe stands out, and as readers, we know what to expect. Besides its less confusing for us and libraries that already have you as an auto buy will tend not pick the new pen name.

  9. Marcy Shuler says:

    I’m also on the “keep the same name” bandwagon. LOL It can get really confusing when there are multiple names for the same author and I hate missing out on books, especially in a series.

  10. Glittergirl says:

    I am VERY author loyal. Keep the same name but be clear on your website of the type of book, i.e. Historicals tab and a Contemporary tab under books. With the advent of the internet, smart phones and social media I think we readers are investigative in our book selections rather than impulse buying off the shelves. We visit author’s websites and find out what a series is about, reading order and what’s coming next & when. The covers & blurbs can make it very clear if it’s an historical or a contemporary we are looking at. Many authors write both and they don’t have a problem especially with social media & blogs advertising the latest book. This change can be celebrated. And I think publishers are full of hooey if they think romance readers don’t cross genre lines from historical & contemporary. I read it ALL and love it all!!! Thanks for the giveaways!

  11. Elizabeth Gray says:

    I’d say one name, unless the cover can say “writing as”. That way, the name the readers know will be it’s an author they are following writing a different genre.

  12. catslady says:

    I like authors to keep the same name. If I like their voice, I will try out any genre. I have to honestly say I can’t remember author’s pen names and I’d probably read their books if I knew. I don’t think it’s hard to tell what kind of book you are buying. All you have to do is read the back blurb!

  13. Lisa Hutson says:

    I would say keep the same name. But make it clear by cover and titles, etc, what genre the book is. Some readers will follow a writer from genre to genre.

  14. denise says:

    your choice–just have links for readers to keep things straight.

  15. Aly P says:

    I lose track of different names for the same author and frustrated at the same time… IMO keep them under the same name :)

  16. Theresa Fischer says:

    I think the same name.

  17. Christine A. says:

    Keep the same name! Less confusing to us readers. TGIF!

  18. may says:

    under one name!

    So your fans will buy them!

  19. Barb Bettis says:

    I favor keeping one name. It can be confusing when we have an author we likes who seems to disappear, then later we find out she’s writing under another name. Or not find out. But I suppose if the genres were terribly different it might be necessary. And, too, publishers don’t always give authors a choice, I understand.

  20. Glenda says:

    Write them as Mia Marlowe. That way people who have read a book or two, but are not aware you are writing under a different name will buy the book because it is yours. :-)

    I hate finding out that I missed a favorite author’s book because they use multiple names. It is easier to find out these days thanks to the net, but I have many friends who are semi-luddites but read voraciously. Yes they do still exist. I was talking about books with one and she didn’t know about several authors who use multiple ‘personalities’.

    Please write as Mia Marlowe!

  21. Amy Hart says:

    All under one please!! I find it confusing to look books up by a same favorite author when they have multiple names. It’s way easier to just have to remember the one name for each favorite author when you go to look for upcoming releases or previous ones. I know it’s cool to have a whole other “identity,” but for us readers it just makes us lose out on your other fantastic reads!

  22. Andrea DeHart says:

    I think you should keep it under one name. It will make it easier for fans to follow your works if they only have to look for one name.

  23. Laurie W G says:

    I’m also in favor of one name no matter what genre you choose to write. The back blurb should tell a reader what to expect in the story. I prefer to know if I’ve previously read something by the author.

    I personally find pen names to be annoying and confusing.

  24. Shirene says:

    It is completely up to you. If you decide to use a pen name just ensure that all your readers are aware through social media, goodreads, etc. For example, Alyssa Day has the same twitter account for both Alyssa Day and Lucy Connors. I’d enjoy seeing you try your hand at a contemporary/romantic suspense.

  25. Sarah Meral says:

    Another vote for keeping the name. I agree with what the others said, that it can be confusing :)

  26. Danny says:

    I would keep the same name, first of all your long time fans can easily find the new release and the new ones might also try your historicals.

  27. Alexisa N says:

    I believe you should keep it all under one name. Think of it as branding. Reader myself included tend to get a bit confused when authors use multiple pen names. Besides this way when a new reader pick up your book and like it and want to read more. They already know exactly who to look for.

  28. Sheryl N says:

    I get confused when an author has other pen names. I like when I do a search for them, all the books come up. I vote keep the same name.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Sheryl.

  29. Carin W says:

    I see both sides of this when you have established a name with a genre and you switch it up it can turn off some but at the same time when you have built in fans for your name recognition you like to use that. HUGS Carin

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      That’s the fear, Carin. We don’t want to alienate readers based on what the type of story they expect from us.

  30. Cheryl says:

    I would keep the same name. This way those that love your books will not miss a single one. I would hate to miss a book by a very favorite author.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I think we writers don’t want to disappoint our readers’ expectations. If they are expecting a historical romance, would they be upset to learn the book they just purchased is a contemporary suspense? I suppose the cover can telegraph that difference, but I want to be very clear what I’m offering.

  31. Linda Thum says:

    The same name. It’s so confusing to us readers to have authors have multiple names.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      So far we’re unanimous in wanting one name only, but remember all the great ones who use two–Norah Roberts/JD Robb springs to mind. I do remember hearing of a husband and wife who were arguing about who was the best writer only to discover she was the same person!

  32. Mary Preston says:

    One name please!! It’s so confusing & most times I don’t even realize that an author I like writes under different names.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      The rationale for multiple names is so we “don’t give readers whiplash” (actual wording from an editor) because the books are in different sub-genres. Guess it all boils down to where the title would be placed in a bookstore.

  33. Anita H. says:

    I’d vote for keeping it under one name. Sometimes I might pass up a book based on authors only to find it’s a pen name for someone who I’ve enjoyed reading before. It’s confusing when it isn’t widely known which pen names go with which well known author.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      So I’m hearing that the author’s name/brand/whatever you want to call it, is more important than genre. I think an exception might be for someone who writes YA and erotica. You’d want to keep those 2 readerships separate.

  34. Ada says:

    Keep them under the same name. It’s easier for us readers to keep track and for new fans, easier to find previous books. Sometimes I just get really confused when I realize an author has other books and it just drives me a bit batty.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Please be aware that sometimes, the multiple names aren’t by the author’s choice. Each time I took a new name it was at a publisher’s request.

  35. bn100 says:

    maybe keep them under one name

  36. Julie says:

    Keep the same name.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Well, that would be easier for me. Only one website, twitter & FB to keep up with. As long as you don’t think it would confuse readers to see a Regency next to a contemporary suspense.

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