Today I'm welcoming Dara Edmondson--or is it Wynter Daniels--to Terry's Place. Wynter Daniels is the naughty cousin of romance writer Dara Edmondson. Wynter was such a bad girl that her parents were forced to punish her by locking her away in her room for hours on end. She spent those hours thinking up wicked stories for her future career as an erotic romance author. Just kidding, but Wynter is Dara’s alter ego.
First – thank you, Terry for inviting me to join you here today. I’m a big fan of your blog, which is such a wealth of great information for fiction writers at all stages of the journey.
I’d like to talk about using a pen name today. Specifically, why I use one. When I looked around at authors who have written under pseudonyms, I was struck by the number who write under more than one name and by those who have chosen to forgo their given name in their work. The simplest of reasons is a forgettable or difficult name. Some famous authors wrote under a pen name to protect their identity from government persecution, like Voltaire. Others, like George Eliot, did it to hide their gender. You see, George Eliot was actually Mary Ann Evans, who feared a woman’s writings would not be taken seriously.
Eleanor Marie Robertson assumed all writers took pen names, so she changed hers to Nora Roberts. Now she uses more than one pseudonym to differentiate the various genres in which she writes: Nora Roberts for romance and J. D. Robb for crime/mystery books. She has also penned books under the name Jill March.
One of the more interesting uses a name is that of Ellery Queen, who serves as both a fictional character and the pen name of two cousins from Brooklyn. Three other cousins who currently write mystery, took on the name of Caroline Cousins.
In the world of today’s romance fiction, my reason is pretty simple. I’d been writing romances under my own name for several years. I’d hopped between genres a bit—straight contemporary, romantic comedy and young adult. But when I decided to try my hand at erotic romance, I didn’t want my readers to buy one of my new books and think they were getting the same sort of thing. And heaven forbid a teenager who’d read one of my young adult stories would mistake an erotic romance for something appropriate for them. In essence, I wanted to re-brand myself.
Hence, Wynter Daniels was born. And frankly, I’ve had some fun with the change. I can blame all sorts of transgressions on Wynter. My husband and my friends love to tease me with references to her. But it’s important to me that readers know when they buy one of Wynter’s stories, they are signing up for a very hot experience. Wynter uses words I would never think to utter!
I knew I’d created a totally different reading experience when the managing editor from one of my publishers emailed me after she’d read Wynter’s first story. She congratulated me and said I’d really grown as a writer. That was when I realized Wynter needed her own website.
My own persona can’t get a word in edgewise anymore! Eventually I will write some books under my own name, but for now, Wynter will be paying the bills.
Wynter Daniels writes for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and Red Sage Publishing. Her first two stories will be released the beginning of March. You can find her at http://WynterDaniels.com.