Warning! Long, serious post ahead.
I just realized it has been 11 days since I’ve posted here! I almost never go that long without posting. There are a number of factors involved in my lapse, but the two biggest ones are 1) I’ve been sick, and 2) My day job is killing me right now. Since the company I work for caters to gardeners, especially rose growers, this is the peak season for large orders from rose societies and garden centers. And they all want their products at the same time!
So here I am. And I’m pondering. On what, you might ask? Well…I guess it’s genre and pen names. I’ve done posts about this before, I think, but I’ve got some serious decisions to make. I use a pen name because of my church affiliation. I’m a Christian, but I see nothing wrong with writing about paranormal creatures and such because it’s fiction. I don’t believe in vampires and werewolves, but they’re fun to read and write about. But some people don’t believe Christians should dabble in things like that, so I stay incognito to keep from offending anyone. I won’t fault them for their beliefs. I have a few issues, though. 1) My mom is so proud of me that she wants to tell everyone I’m an author. 2) I have some real life friends on my author FB profile, and sometimes they say things that could link my writing life to my real life. 3) I would like to be open about being an author.
So…genre. Aside from the fact that I feel like I have to lead a double like, I’m finding the paranormal genre is FLOODED with self-published authors. I’m thankful that publishing is so easy for everyone these days, and I believe everyone deserves a chance to do so, but it also brings in a LOT of competition. It’s so hard to even be found lately. I’ve been lucky enough to attract the attention of a couple of frequent reviewers lately, so that has helped me a bit. I’m so grateful for them, and I’ve tried to express this to them. But I still have to keep myself out there and try to be found.
This is what I’m contemplating. I’ve been thinking about sweet romances and cozy mysteries lately. I could easily write a sweet romance. The mystery would involve a lot of plotting ahead of time to make sure I get the “whodunit” right. And there’s still that Christian romance I started a long time ago and never finished. I think I could take the strong religious undertones out of that and market it as a sweet romance. I think, although there are a lot of books in these genres, too, there are more readers for them. I could be wrong, but just from comments I’m getting from readers I’ve met online who say “I don’t read paranormal”, it leads me to believe there’s a wider range of readers for the sweeter romances whether they be contemporary or historical (which I wouldn’t attempt).
Another decision I would have to make…new pen name or real name. I honestly feel like I shouldn’t write in these other genres under my current pen name. I want my mom to be able to shout to the world that her daughter is an author. She doesn’t like it when I tell her not to do that right now. I want the ladies at church to be able to read my books. I want to be FREE.
Now here’s the biggest decision of all. Should I completely do away with my current pen name and stop writing paranormal altogether so I can focus my time and energy on the new stuff? Should I try to do both? I think the worst part of leaving Lauralynn behind would be not interacting with all my wonderful online friends. I think I would probably tell my closest friends who I really am. It’s not so much that I don’t want my Lauralynn friends to know who I am. It’s that I don’t want my real life friends to know who Lauralynn is. Does that make sense? This is very hard for me, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Even if you think I won’t like your thoughts, I would rather have the honesty.