Friday, March 2, 2012


The ebooks aren't ready. Heh. To be honest, I haven't started them. I have LORD OF WINTER at my agent for a read through and I'm letting ALPHABET SOUP sit before I edit it over. I don't foresee a lot of changes, but I want it to be as tight as possible before I put it into a form people can download. At least I can say the cover is done.

I have been working on things. I'm about 7,000 words or so into book four of my Cuckoo series, titled THE OMEGA (not sold yet). I'm also writing a novella titled CHILDE OF THE BLOODED MOON. Of late I usually have two pieces going. One being a typed novel, the other being a handwritten shorter piece.

I also just finished editing and submitted a novella called RUNES OF THE DAEMON to a friend who's starting up a new ebook publishing company called 4F. It should launch this summer, I believe. But I wrote a 16,000 word fantasy romance novella for him, with oodles of sex.

Here's the thing, and I guess I'll poll you guys about it. He's suggested that I use a pen name for this piece to differentiate it from my other writing, and I don't know if I want to for a whole lot of reasons. The point is, this is a romance story between a man and a male daemon and I get very graphic in the sex scenes.

I'd like to use my own name, but I don't want to run into anyone who's vehemently against that sort of thing for whatever reason and end up getting flamed or whatever. What is the common vote? I'll still have the piece listed on my website once it's out regardless, but should it be written by LJ McDonald or by Gwen Gerrard (my nom de plume of choice).

On another level, I'm really annoyed with myself that I'm even asking this. *sigh*

Here, have a painting.


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    1. You'll get flamed if you don't, and have to deal with hassle if you do. It's your life...which are you more willing to put up with? Is the hassle worth the good will of your readers? How many people will flame you? How will you deal with it? In the end, the only person you can control is you. Personally, since you're polling us, I would use a different name. Think of the fun you could have as that author!

      PS. My writing friends like it when I have a strong reaction to one of their characters, so I thought you'd like to know that I'm in the middle of Queen, and I REALLY don't like Sala. :)

    2. Okay, thanks for your input. What you say makes a lot of sense. Most people I's hope wouldn't care, but I don't want my life made iserable by those who do.

      As for Sala. Everyone hates her. I don't like her either, other than she was a blast to write.

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  3. I wanted to comment late last night, but went to bed, exhausted and actually dreamed about my response. And I'm still not sure about all of the logic, but...
    It sounds like you are most concerned about people you see face to face, who don't visit your website. Right? For them, your pen name will have to be a closely guarded least until you decide whether they can handle the new material or not.
    I believe a pen name will serve you well from a marketing stand point. LJ fans have a 'heads up' that you are venturing into territory that is different enough that you're considering a pen name. By tying that name to your website, readers who know Gwen might visit and learn about Lj books...and maybe buy them. You are not completely hiding who you are...just, perhaps, delaying readers from making the connection between LJ and Gwen. For me, that makes a huge difference. And here's why:

    I have never read a Steven King novel, because the two movies that I've seen scared me. I understand that he wrote a sci-fi series under a pen name, but since I knew from the get-go that it was Mr. King, I couldn't shake my expectations: I am still convinced anything he writes will scare me. If I had only known him by the pen name, then later discovered that it was him, I might have tried the series, and loved it.

    Again, I dreamed some of this, so you may be shaking your head at my comment. My vote? Let Gwen write this one, and any others that are similar.

  4. It may be a good idea to use a 'nom de plume', not because of the content of 'Runes of the Daemon', (prospective buyers can always read the aforementioned book's synopsis and if it doesn't float their boat then don't read it), but in case the book or Rune series (?)does not do as well in sales; It would not affect "LJ McDonald" book sales or reputation. (I have a relative who is a 'talent scout cum agent' for a leading publisher and that is his advice to established writers such as yourself).

    For example, Penny Jordan, a contemporary romance/thriller writer, uses the pen name 'Annie Groves' to write historical sagas usually set in late 19th - early 20th century England.The idea of having more than 1 pseudonym for your different genre writing is an increasingly popular one.

    It would also cause less confusion for fans who know you currently for the "Sylph" books, as they will then not assume "Runes" is another book set in the Sylph world.

    I get so angry when some people get quite abusive about either the way a writer develops a plotline in a way the 'fan' does not like or writes under a completely change of genre, such as you have done. While constructive criticism can be welcome, being a fan is no excuse or reason to personally denigrate or resort to pejorative remarks.

    I'll now get off my soap box and admire your lovely forest scene...

  5. I think it can be both good and bad no matter what you choose. It took me a while to understand why some of my authors have several other names, becuase unfortunately people do judge books by their covers and their authors. It's a chance either way, but do what works for you! What you feel most comfortable with. I love you writting style and eagerly await anything that comes out, so if I have to stalk your website a bit more to get a "nom de plume" to track down your latest, then that's fine with me!

  6. Hummm...really interesting question.

    My gut tells me you should go with Gwen for all the reasons the other posters have already outlined much more articulately than I could. I love that you are going to have varying and edgy genres. And I think the authors name is important. For intstance, I stumbled on "Battle Sylph" totally by accident and then, of course, was hooked! Your name was slightly mysterious and I liked that. It became synonymous with the fun of the series. I didn't know if you were some middle aged old fart who'd been writing for years and finally had this wonderful breakout fantasy novel or were a a younger dude, but still obviously pretty seasoned 'cause your stuff was so dang good! The only thing I was pretty sure was you were probably male because you had this really insightful way of portraying males with a militaristic sensibility. It was only when I began to wonder why the next Sylph novel wasn't coming out that I began to root around the internet and discovered your website. Boy was I SURPRISED and not just a little bit delighted at who your were! So my vote is let the future RUNES OF THE DAEMON fans have the same fun with Gwen Gerrard. Or maybe even G.W. Gerrard! ;)

  7. Thanks to everyone for their input. I'm going to go with the pseudonym.

    Am I strange that I looked at the G.W Gerrard idea and thought "GW must stand for Gay Writing", and then promptly laughed myself sick. Hee!

    Gee, I could do that for any genre I decide to write in.. S.F. "Science Fiction", "Y.A. "Young Adult"....etc....

    Now I'm being silly.

  8. Ok girl you DEFINITELY got hit with the "silly stick" that you've got me giggling maniacally too!

  9. OK, that whole idea about GW, SF, etc, is really really funny, and I am going to share that with my writing group!

  10. Hi --

    I recommend the nom de plume, G.W. Gerrard. Why not have a little fun with that? Have you ever read the work of Shelly Laurenston? She has a second pen name G.A. Aiken and it works. Her fans know her work, and people who are unfamiliar with it find out eventually. Definitely consider having two separate websites for each name and in small print you can list all your books for your fans and supply links to each site.

    Wow, who knew I was so opinionated?! One more question ... Will you be self-publishing Books 5 and 6 of the Sylph series?

    Great painting. Was that created digitally?