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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The way things work...


Thanks, Lee, for inviting me to blog here at AUTHOR SOUND RELATIONS. I really appreciate the forum you’ve offered, especially since I’ve got a new book coming out April 1!

CrystalFire is the final story in my DemonSlayers series, and since I finished writing the story a year ago, I’m going through the process of putting myself back into that world so that I can recall the details when people ask questions, but that’s the way things work in this business. And since it’s something that readers don’t always know, I thought I’d talk about it a bit.

The best part of being an author is writing the books. The worst part of being an author is writing the books. Go figure, but it’s true. There’s such an amazing element of discovery each day when I sit down to see what my characters are up to, and at the same time, there’s always the fear in the back of my mind that maybe they’re not going to tell me. It’s like, if they don’t let me in on the secret, I’m screwed! So far, they’ve not kept me out of the loop, and all the books I’ve been working on have managed to get themselves written.

But once the story is done and sent off to my editor, it’s on to the next book, and then the next. I had to go back and look at my schedule, but since I turned in the final CrystalFire manuscript last year, I’ve written two novels for my new Dream Catchers series, Dream Unbound and Dream Unchained, four novellas for my self-published Demon Lovers series: Unbalanced, Unbound, Unmasked and now Unleashed, have edited and prepared two of my older titles, 68 & Climbing and Cowboy in My Pocket for self-publishing, wrote numerous blog posts and a gazillion emails and have started another new series. Point being, I’ve not read or been thinking about the book that’s actually coming out, which means I’ve had to go back and reread it to even remember the story!

Hopefully, that will explain the “deer in the headlights” look I sometimes get when a reader asks me about a point in one of my books. My mind is always wrapped around the current project, which, for me right now, is my brand new series, Spirit Wild. This is one I’ve been so anxious to get to—it’s my second generation series about the Chanku, stories that take place twenty-five years after Wolf Tales 12. I’m three chapters into Lily’s story, To Love a Dark Wolf, and I’m having the time of my life discovering Lily as a young woman...but, I really need to talk about CrystalFire and what THIS book is about! Like I said, it’s the way things work.

CrystalFire is nothing like I imagined it would be and everything I hoped for a final book to a series. It’s got unlikely heroes, a horrible threat to mankind (and Lemurian-kind!) and two secondary stories that weren’t even on the radar when I started writing.

But again, that’s the way these things work, and I think you’ll understand what I mean when you read the book. I do have something I’d love an opinion on—you’ll notice is that I write in a lot of different genres. Wolf Tales is erotic paranormal, Dream Catchers is erotic science fiction, DemonSlayers is paranormal, Cowboy in My Pocket is contemporary western humor, 68 & Climbing is contemporary romance and Demon Lovers is erotic urban fantasy. I do them all as me—they’re all written by Kate Douglas. We’re having a discussion on an author list right now about using pseudonyms—what’s your thought on that? Do you want an author to keep one name for all their genres, or would you prefer a different name? Or should it be a different name linked to the original, the some authors do: Joe Blow writing as Betsy Smith? I’d love to take your answers back to my list and let the authors know what you think. AND, for allowing me to pick your brains, three winners will be chosen from those who leave a comment. I’m giving away your choice of a copy of StarFire or the new book, CrystalFire.


***Kate's winners are Denise Z, TinaMaire and Maria E!! Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your full name an mailing address asap! Thanks!***

35 comments:

Selena Robins said...

"The best part of being an author is writing the books. The worst part of being an author is writing the books."

This is so true, Kate, but we all love what we do passionately, which is the best part.

As for your question, personally, I prefer the author to use one name. When I like an author and want to ensure that I read all her work, it's easier to search for one name on Amazon or Kobo. I think writing different genres is fascinating, and it allows the reader to read different aspects of her favorite author's creativity.

Congrats on all your books!

Steelerlady2379 said...

Well I am not an author, but I can understand what you are saying about the best and worse part of being an author.
As far as an author writing under just one name, and not changing it, well I would rather them keep the name they started with, it makes it a lot easier to follow that author and there books.
Crystalfire is the only one of the demon slayers books that I don't have. But be sure to know that I will have this one as well!!!
Kate I love your books, you are one of my favorite authors. Keep up the great job that you do!!!!
Happy reading and writing*
Teresa

flchen1 said...

Kate, I vote for a different name (easily found, BTW--I like authors to link to their other personas on their websites so I know--it shouldn't be some deep, dark secret!) ONLY if you're writing in a totally different genre that some fans might totally not be interested in--I like it that some authors have one name for their YA and another for their dark, only-for-grown ups erotic novels, for instance. But I don't think it's necessary as long as you're clear with the marketing up front what kind of story we can expect :) Come on--we're readers! We can figure things out :)

Congrats on this series, Kate--I've got to catch up!

catslady said...

I like it when an author writes under one name although if you want to always link it that would be okay too. I love variety and different genres and mixed ones too. If I find an author that I like her voice, then it doesn't matter to me what she is writing. I have so enjoyed this series and would just love to win Crystalfire :)

Mary said...

I like it when a writer writes under one name. it's easier to find all the books and not get mixed up as to who you are reading. I've read a couple of authors and loved their books and come to find out later that they also wrote under a different name of books that I'd never heard of. While they might have all that info on their main page, I usually visit blogs and they don't always put the info for all the books and names they write under for all their posts so it can get confusing at times.

miztik_rose@yahoo.com

Robin said...

I prefer that authors use the same name --- makes it easier to pick books that I will be sure to like.

Kate Douglas said...

That's my feeling as well, Selena, though for a totally different reason. My name is Kate. If I changed it and went to conferences where I met readers and they called me by another name, I know I wouldn't be smart enough to respond! Plus, I have a lot of favorite authors, but I don't read them for a particular genre--I read for their voice. When they change their name, I have no idea how to find their books. That happened with Anne Stuart who is now also writing as Kristina Douglas. I ALMOST missed her new series, THE FALLEN. Luckily, I discovered RAZIEL and figured out who it was.

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you so much, Teresa. I'm really looking forward to CrystalFire's release, too. Hopefully you will be a winner, right? :-) And thanks for the comment. So far we're two for two!

Kate Douglas said...

That's kind of my feeling--readers are smart people and can figure it out, as long as it's not a deep, dark secret. That's where I have a problem. Unfortunately, a lot of time it's the publisher's choice that you change names because the prior book tanked and they don't WANT you to link the names. Sadly, a series can tank for lots of reasons, not necessarily under an author's control, but then when they can't tell readers who they are, it's just a mess. In my opinion, of course!

Kate Douglas said...

I know I follow an author for their voice, their style of writing. I've got favorites and will buy whatever they write because I know I'm going to like the book. Another thing with a different pseudonym is the cost--separate promotion, an extra website, maybe a different Facebook page. Time is a precious commodity for those of us on deadline!

Good luck!

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...Mary! Haven't seen you since Running With Quills! Hope all is well (or do I know you under another name? See? I get way too confused!) I don't have time to hunt down websites either, and yes, it can be confusing. I really appreciate the answers you're all giving me. thank you!

Kate Douglas said...

Plus it requires fewer brain cells. I don't have many left, and the ones I've got are tired...thanks, Robin!

Barbara E. said...

I don't mind a difference in author name for different genres, but I like to know they're related, for example: Liz Smith, E.N. Smith, and then Elizabeth Smith, etc. Or I like the Liz Smith writing as E.N. Smith thing, that way I know that a writer I really liked is writing in another genre, and as long as I like that genre, I'll most likely enjoy the new book. There are some authors that are very well known, so I don't have a problem with all the different names, but new readers do - I just told my sister the other day that Amanda Quick was Jayne Ann Krenze, as well as Jayne Castle - she had no idea. I think that eliminates some readers that would follow the author to another genre if they only knew it was the same person.

Maria E said...

Well, Kate, I think either way is fine. Sometimes it depends on whether the author has another career along with the writing one. Case in point - the teacher who was writing erotic romance under a pseudonym and lost her teaching job when people found out. Now, I think that stinks and I see her reason for the other name. If I'm that interested in an author because of their voice, I will search for any links that point me to works under pseudonyms. Sure, one name is easiest. But if you like someone's writing that much, the extra time is well worth it.

Chrisbails said...

It does not bother me either way. I like it both ways. I like when have different names for different genres. I also think it is easier if have same name for all books. Most authors that I read, I do know there other pen names.
Thanks for the giveaway. This is a new author for me and would love to win Starfire.
christinebails@yahoo.com

Kate Douglas said...

JAK is usually an example that I give, and it's amazing how many people haven't made the connection, especially since her voice is the same in all three genres, no matter how different the stories are. Thanks. I'm glad you brought her up.

Kate Douglas said...

A lot of us write under pseudonyms--I'm a good example, but I had no choice because there's already another author published under my real name. She got there first! I don't think one pseudonym is a problem as long as that's your public name, but when authors keep switching around, and some have had multiple identities, it gets confusing. I guess I want things simple...

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks for your comments and for stopping by Christine. Good luck!

marybelle said...

I actually like the idea of linking author names. I am often surprised to find out that an author I love writes under other names & all that time I was missing out.

Kate Douglas said...

That's the whole thing--if they don't publicly link the various names, you can miss out on stories by someone you like.

*yadkny* said...

I can understand why different names are used by some authors whether it's a personal choice or you have to because someone else is already using the same name:) But it can get a little confusing sometimes as a reader. No matter what though if I really like an author's work I'll follow them no matter what.

yadkny@hotmail.com

Kate Douglas said...

See, that's my problem. I have a really crappy memory! It's full of fictitious characters and paranormal worlds that I'm writing, and there's no room for the other stuff--like multiple names of favorite authors!

I guess I just want things simple, ya know?

Mary Jo said...

Hi Kate,
I prefer a single author name, but with strong delineation of genres/series. I don't have a real problem with different names, but it makes it harder to follow an authors writings, if they keep things too separate. I am often surprised to learn (or remember, with my awful memory) that another author I am looking at is the same as one I already enjoy.

TinaMarie said...

I prefer it when an author writes under one name. I keep a spreadsheet by author / seriers so I know what I've read, what I have yet to read, to buy etc. It's a huge headache trying to track things and I have a horrible memory.

Michelle A said...

I prefer a single author name - don't quite understand why you would want more than one - too confusing. I do the spreadsheet also - to keep track of what I have read and what books I have. Can't wait to read Crystal Fire!!

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...exactly. I think we all have so much to remember (Passwords, anyone) that added names just ads to the confusion. I'm confused enough already! Thanks for your comments. It always makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who's lost.

Kate Douglas said...

A spreadsheet? I'm impressed. I've actually thought of doing that, just to keep track of my rather extensive library, but don't know when I'd find the time. Sheesh...with more than one name, you have to get into cross-referencing and all that. Wow...definitely impressed!

Kate Douglas said...

Hi Michelle--it's not always the author's choice. Sometimes a publisher will insist on a different name if sales numbers under the original name have dropped off, which always seems a bit dishonest to me, but that's the way the business works. CrystalFire is out--if you don't win a copy, be sure to buy one. Gotta keep those sales numbers up!!! I do NOT want to have to do another name.

Christine said...

As far as an author using pseudonyms, it really doesn't matter to me, but I would prefer just one name used, just to make it easier to find an author(s) book/s that I like/want to read. Yes it can be confusing, but I can see where an author or maybe publisher would want or not want a particular name used for a particular genre. Maybe an author doesn't want to be stereotyped as an "Romance" author or "Erotic", "SciFi" only, etc., etc., and thought as unable to be taken seriously in any other genre.

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...sometimes I wonder if I'm taken seriously in ANY genre!

Dawn said...

HI Kate! Personally, I do not like author pseudonyms. I do not believe that the name of the author affects the story line in any way. However, the author name does weigh heavily on whether I buy a book or not. When authors use a pseudonym it is a great way for their readers to miss out on a book they have written. I wish they would all just use one name, preferably their own.

If I am chosen as a winner I would love a copy of Crystalfire. I only have it on my Kindle as of now. Any of the Sexy Beast books 1-8 would be wonderful too.

Thank you,
Dawn

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...I just don't like them because they confuse me, but you actually made the point of the publishers who request an author change their name--"However, the author name does weigh heavily on whether I buy a book or not."

If an author comes out with a truly bad book, or if sales are in the tank, then a name change can give them a new lease on their writing career. It's still confusing!

Unknown said...

I really prefer "my authors" to use the same name. That way I can be sure that I am getting a GREAT read.

I would like a copy of "CrystalFire" is chosen as 1 of your winners.

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...your post cracks me up--you're posting as "Unknown," which is what it's like when authors have so many names I can't remember them! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

Denise Z said...

I think pseudonyms are fine. There are times when I would not have picked up a specific book, even though I enjoyed the author's work, simply because it was so different from what I have been reading by that author (did that make sense LOL) For instance I am a longtime fan of author Z and the Z series when author Z decides to write a Y series. I find I have had a hard time breaking out of the Z series and this has prejudiced me against the new Y series because it is different and my habit would not let me accept the new characters. I know several series where I have found out later they were actually the same author and I was able to enjoy the writing. This is a fault in my mind not a reflection of the author's talent, but it is there all the same. On the other hand I have also really enjoyed books in multiple genres by the same author and I think this might be truer for a longtime series switch to a new genre rather than an author already established with multiple works. The bottom line, however, is good writing is good writing and I love to read! Thank you for the thought provoking post and lovely giveaway opportunity.
dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com