Don’t get too excited. I’m not leaving or anything like that. No, I’m going through something of an identity crisis and I’m considering splitting myself into two. People aren’t sure what I write. The problem is that I write in multiple genres. One side of me writes thrillers and mysteries and the other side of me writes horror and dark fantasy. I know a number of writers who flit between genres with no problem and I hoped to do the same, but it isn’t working for me. My writing in different genres confuses people. Horror readers think I write mystery and mystery readers think I write horror. The simple thing to do would be to stick to one genre and have done with it, but I don’t want to. I love writing horror stories as much as I do crime.
So what is a chimera to do? What else, but split.
I think it’s time for a pen name, but which side of me gets the new identity? That’s an easy one. The pen name will go to my horror writing. I’ve written a lot of short horror fiction that has appeared in magazines and anthologies, but I’ve never published a horror novel, whereas my published and forthcoming novels are thrillers. It would be too disruptive to reinvent myself in the mystery and thriller world now.
The topic of a pen name has been on my mind for some time. My attempts to educate the world to my multi-faceted aspects haven’t worked and it’s getting a little frustrating. People either label me as a horror or thriller writer, never both. More than a minor annoyance, the situation has hindered me. Not for the first time, anthology editors have looked me over because they knew me for one genre and not both. It’s time to break out the white flag and surrender to the realization that it’s hard being two things at once.
I do have a name picked out, but I’m not willing to share it at the moment. Change, while good, does create waves. While I want to create a second writing identity, I have to consider other people. There are a number of upcoming projects, which this decision will affect. I need to discuss it with them first.
As Eric Burden of the Animals once said, “I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” It’s not a good situation for a writer to be in.
I’ll let you know what I decide.
Yours a person divided,