Here's my current situation. I'm busily writing away on my sci fi stories. However, I'm also writing a religious motivational book. I'm committed to both of them. But I kind of wonder if I would look kind of indecisive if I'm writing a religious book and then have sci fi stories where faith is being seriously questioned by some of the characters. And there's some stuff I want to deal with and not have the baggage of somebody saying without giving it a chance, "Oh, his sci fi stuff is going to be garbage. All he can do is religious writing." Would using a pen name for the time being for my sci fi writing be a wimp's way out? I mean, I would confess if somebody figured out the pen name and my regular name was one and the same. And if I did the pen writing path, how would I be able to still get the work copyrighted? How could I still get an audience?
Good questions Clifton. I think your options are:
1. Say 'screw it' and write whatever for whichever audience appreciates your work. If you're worried about getting stuck in a label, write both and find out which crowd will give you the most love. I suspect the religion crowd will give you the least flexibility, but that's just a guess.
2. Write one and prime your audience for something completely different as you promote your next one.
3. Use different names. Copyright it under a company name perhaps? Most people realize that publishing houses can publish a variety of works. That way you keep ownership.
Good luck. I like your story ideas.
I write under a pen name because I have customers who might not appreciate my particular brand of sci fi, fantasy and horror.
I found these 2 links that might be helpful:
I was always advised to use a pen name if you're writing in two completely different genres. That way, your audience doesn't get confused.
Clifton are you ashamed of what you write?
I refuse to wait in line twice for two different autographs! Lol
Man up and put some bass in your voice and be who you are without compromise... Fans may or may not buy in but they will respect you for being who you are without hiding it from them!
This also works in relationships where the other party discovers you are not the man they thought you were and it ends up being some Three's Company type sitcom episode where everybody has to eventually explain themselves to Jack, Chrissy and Janet!
One way or another they always find out who you are anyway and by posting this thread you may have let the cat out of the bag already as it gains more members to the site!
Thanks for everyone's input!
You're making the assumption that ultra-religious people read sci-fi. This is the internet age. As such, the internet has allowed people to stay in their own niche online circles that adhere to their specific ideology. Liberals can stick with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, even conspiracy nuts have their own webrings. So now, more than any other time in human history, you can write two different books with two vastly different subject matters and use the exact same name. No one will know the difference.
...unless, of course, you run for public office.
Sorry, but you won't be elected mayor of Churchville.
Outside of that, go for it.
Think of it this way... would you read an erotic novel by Dr. Suess? I think for the different types of books, you do need a pen name. I also write with one.
I write several different subjects so I have a few different pen names. It helps customers find stories that best fit their interests.