I have 5 pen names. Don't judge me and tell me I'm crazy, because I tell myself that same phrase every morning in the mirror. 'Why?' I ask myself. 'Why do you have SO many names?' My family asks me the same thing, telling me I'm my own worst enemy. And why are they all pen names? Why not write as myself? Let me explain...but first, a background.
I write 'sweet.' To me, that means no American swearing, no premarital sex, and no explicit sex scenes, regardless of genre. The word 'sweet' usually applies to romances, but since I have a form of romance in all my books, I apply it to all my books.
Well, my names are by genre. I use the following pen names, all under the 'SweetTale Books' marketing umbrella. I also tweet them by day, so I try to concentrate on one name a day for the work week.
Monday: Eryn Grace -- Christian pen name (mostly romances). Christian morals, without beating the reader over the head with proselytizing. Brand/logo: Journeys of Faith
Tuesday: Andie Alexander -- mystery/romance/humor pen name. Books written in first person and pushing the limit of 'sweet.' Brand/logo: Saving the World One Story at a Time
Wednesday: Kyra Myles -- young adult books. Books written in first and third person, all about teenagers. Very sweet. Brand/logo: Stories of Strange Hope.
Thursday: Markee Anderson -- sweet romance, written in third person. Brand/logo: Romance You Wish For.
Friday: Paige Ryter -- Sci-Fi/Paranormal/Adventure books. The sky's the limit on these plots. Brand/Logo: Live the Adventure.
Why use a pen name? I like being anonymous. I'm an introvert and really don't want to mix my personal life with my writing life. Why? I have a friend who writes for a big name publisher. She writes as herself. She's been approached by scam artists, authors wanting a hand up and a hand out, and people claiming her success was theirs because they know her (when she's never met them before).
The way I set up my names is that now, I know if someone really knows me or not (none of those names, above, are even close to my real name). I use Markee's name for most of my correspondences (I just chose one and it stuck). If someone writes to Markee, claiming some scam, I know it's not true. It keeps my personal and writing life separate.
So the next time you want to know if you should use a pen name, do it. You'll protect yourself in more ways than you can imagine. Yes, you'll lose the celebrity status when you're out and about, but it's worth it, in my mind.
Have a great week!