Ever since the release of The Oaf Prince, I have been a lot more open about my writing. I tell people the title (which I never would have done before) and I even share the book among my friends in hope that they will share, etc.
It might not seem like much, but for me it really is.
I have always been shy, naturally. Over the years I have worked on coming out of my shell and now I am much more comfortable in my own skin. It’s a good thing. But it has lead to some very unexpected things.
For one, I seem to have collected names. Lots of them.
I use to believe that writing was a deeply personal thing. I still feel that people who read my writing are being given a glimpse deep into my soul. They get to learn a lot of things about me. My sense of humour, what makes me sad or things that I find important and cherish. Every single thing that you chose to mention in writing is a choice and it illustrates you as a person. The difference now is that I am okay with that.
It still makes me blush and want to run and hide when I see someone reading my book, but now I don’t mind letting people read it. In fact, now it interests me learning what my readers take note of, what they like or don’t like. It is like we are sharing a very unique experience and everyone feels the words in a different way.
But before I was okay with all that, I created a pen name. As a teenager I always went with an alias. Then as an adult I chose to make a new one. Sienna Sway became my writers voice. And I love her. She’s like the cooler version of me. She’s laid back, she writes what she feels like writing, she doesn’t care if people will raise a brow at her. She likes to shock people and she also likes things to mushy-gushy that I would probably gag if it was reality. She is my “Adult Writer” voice.
Since I began to share The Oaf Prince not just with strangers, but with people I know, I have repeatedly been asked why I used another name?
The answer seems obvious to me. The story is about a gay ogre. Ummmm, not enough of a reason? Well there are a few, pretty graphic sex scenes… At which point in the conversation, the look that friends have given me is the answer.
I didn’t want to be judged.
The Oaf Prince has turned into the brunt of many jokes around here. It’s Lord of the Rings meets Brokeback Mountain. Every gay person on TV is now named Nemir. Things like that. Its actually pretty funny and since the story itself is a comedy, I appreciate that it is not being taken too seriously.
Now I have another book due to be released on the eleventh of December (so soon!) but it’s another one that I am not really taking much credit for in a personal way.
It’s called The Zombie’s Guide To Being Dead. It is being marketed as a non-fiction, written by an L.A. zombie that goes by the name BRAAAGGGHHHHH. She’s a pretty cool, undead woman who is sharing her techniques to not only surviving, but enjoying the afterlife too. (So, you know, if you have any zombie’s in your life in need of a little direction, it might be the perfect Christmas gift. :P)
Needless to say, the author is listed as BRAAAGGGHHHHH and I have added yet another name to the growing list.
My goal has always been to write as myself in the young adult genre. I am already working towards that point and toward the types of stories that really speak to me in a deep way. Luckily I wont have to alter my name for that and I can continue to write as myself and my created names depending on the mood that strikes me.
Now, I am happy with the decisions that I made in creating my alter ego’s. It may be a bit more work, having multiple accounts on many platforms, but hey, it allows me to flex my creativity and not feel bound by what ‘I’ should be writing about.
Does anyone else do the same? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
One more thing! If you’re interested in getting a copy of The Oaf Prince for free, I am having a goodreads giveaway right now here; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27824783-the-oaf-prince
And I will have a giveaway for A Zombie’s Guide to Being Dead coming up in a week’s time.
I’ll post updates on how they go, as it’s my first time doing it. Fingers crossed!