Monday, January 20, 2014

What's in a name?

If you have read my author bio anywhere, you know it starts with the following lines:

What's in a pseudonym? A writer by any other name called would make words as sweet. So S. L. Gray would,were she not S. L. Gray called.

But then how would you find her books?

Aside from the obvious hat-tip to Shakespeare (yes, I'm a Shakespeare fan. I have no shame.), this is my new philosophy on pen names. I, as an author, am unlikely to stick to one pure genre. I started out writing romance. I split away from myself a little and wrote erotic romance for a while. Now I'm writing urban fantasy with varying levels of romantic content.

And going forward, I intend to write it all under the same name. There will probably not be a lot (if any) erotic romance. There will be a lot of fantasy of various flavors and some romance-centered stuff and maybe even a YA novel or three down the road.

But I'm going to publish them all as S.L. Gray. I have made the attempt at maintaining and building an audience for more than one name before and honestly, the benefits didn't outweigh the pain in the butt it would be to keep it up.  Now, mind, I am not writing in wildly divergent genres. If I were writing erotic romance and middle grade books? Yes, I might very well use yet another pen name. As I'm not? Nope. This is where I'm sitting. I like the view from S.L. Gray land.

One argument from people who suggest multiple pen names is that it helps you continue to reach readers who don't cross genres. If I have a fan of my urban fantasy who really doesn't want to read a romance-heavy story, won't I betray their trust by writing under the same name?

Nah. My readers (and readers in general) are sharp enough to figure out what they want to read or don't want to read. Why make it harder for them to find my next book by making them become fans of some other me? 

That's -my- story and I'm definitely sticking to it.

Just a note before you go: You have about an hour to enter my print giveaway. I'll be drawing winners this evening. Good luck!


  1. Evidently, Shakespeare fans need to stick together. It's a tough world out there, and I'll defend my Shakespeare love to the bitter end!

  2. There should definitely be a Shakespeare handshake, or a pin we could wear, or something. Welcome, sister! :)