What’s in a Name? #Writing

I have a nom de plume, as you well know. Also, I just really like saying nom de plume.

I didn’t really set out to have a pen name. It just sort of…happened. I ended up with this name when I married my ex and then we divorced and I remarried and I changed my legal name and, well, you can imagine how well my current pen name is received by my current husband.


So, I’ve been thinking… (my husband is always unnerved when I say these words to him) maybe I should get a new pen name?

This is not as easy as, say, getting a new shirt. I can’t exactly go down to the Pen Name Store and pick out a new one and everyone will be like, “WOW. I love your new pen name. It’s so pretty on you. And really brings out the color of your eyes.”

No, I can’t do that. I know exactly the name I want to use. I don’t want to share it here because I haven’t fully committed to using that name and I’m a suspicious sort and I don’t want someone to steal my Really Awesome New Pen Name.

It’s not really awesome but it is really me.

I guess you’re wondering why I want to change my name. I want to be clear here. I am not ashamed of the work I have under the Miles name. Not at all. I’m proud of each and every book I’ve written. I learn something new every time I write a new book and I think (hope) I’m getting better with each one. It’s merely that I want to go in a different direction now with the books I’m starting to write. I’m moving more toward fantasy/urban fantasy and a lot less romance. This may come as a shock but, really, the last two full-length books I’ve written had virtually no romance in it (I’m thinking of the Age of Wizards series here…On the Hunt for the Wizard King out Dec 1! *cough* shameless plug *cough*).

And honestly, I just really don’t want to write sex scenes.

Don’t get me wrong: I have NOTHING against sex scenes. I like a hot book as much as the next girl. But I’m kinda of meh about writing them. Also, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against romance! I love a good romance. I love a romance where there is a happily ever after. I LOVE that two people can fall in love but still have adventure and defeat the bad guys. I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2004 and those fellow members are my tribe. We understand each other, us romance writers, and I would never want to give that up. I’ve met some of my best writing pals through RWA and I cherish that and them.

I guess what I’m staying here is I’m not sure those hot and sexy scenes belong in my books.

And what does this have to do with my pen name?

Well, it’s all about branding. Because I’ve been so distracted with writing everything under the sun trying to chase the market, I don’t think I’ve stopped long enough to really THINK about who I am as a writer and what that says to readers. Do readers know what they’re getting when they pick up one of my books? I hope so. I hope they know they get action and adventure with a side of romance thrown in (yes, it’s a kissing book).

So, what all this changing my pen name has to do with really comes down to branding. It’s solely a business decision. I just have to make sure it’s the right decision for me I’m not sure it is.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.