Monday, January 29, 2024

Pen Name or Not?


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Do you use or have you considered using different pen names for different genres of your writing?


Pen names always seem like fun to me. Choosing a new version of yourself to go with your writing, so you have a tough guy name for that noir you're writing and something soft and flowery for the romance. Maybe my Gothic romance (when I finish it) could come from someone like Violet Nightshade, instead of the more mundane Samantha Bryant. It's a fun kind of branding. 

image source

But in this day and age, marketing means keeping up with social media for your work, and I find that overwhelming enough without managing several different version of myself. I can't imagine keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Bluesky, etc. for more than one of me. When would I actually write? 

I know some writers get around this by having their pen names be an open secret, like Gail Z. Martin writing as Morgan Brice or Ursula Vernon writing as T. Kingfisher (just to name couple from my circles), but I'm probably not a big enough fish for that, and I don't want to make it any harder for someone who enjoyed something I wrote to find the rest of it!

So, I've thought about it, but I think I'll stick to just being Samantha Bryant, regardless of what I'm writing. I'm plenty to handle. 

Do you use pen names in your work? Do you follow writers who do? 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, January 22, 2024

Every Novel is a Puzzle


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Now this was fun! Are you a puzzle fan? Well, here's the first of the novels in the Menopausal Superhero series made into a jigsaw puzzle! (If you need some hints, the title is Going Through the Change, and my name is Samantha Bryant--those bits will get you a goodly portion of the puzzle). And like any jigsaw puzzle aficionado will tell you--establish the edges first. It helps. 

I enjoyed this quite a bit, and it's a nice analogy for writing as well. Writing a new book does feel like solving a puzzle. I get it in pieces and as I work the overall vision becomes clearer and hangs together better until: voilá! 

Hope you enjoy it! And be sure to check out the other puzzles in this week's blog hop at the link below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

BookBub or Bust, an IWSG post


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the January 3 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Olga Godim, Diedre Knight, and Natalie Aguirre!

January 3 question: Do you follow back your readers on BookBub or do you only follow back other authors?

Happy New Year! Here's hoping that 2024 bring you joy, on and off the page. I like the feeling of fresh start that comes with a flip of the calendar. 

image source
Maybe this will be the year that I make proper use of BookBub as an author. Because up till now, it's stayed pretty low on my priority list.

It's not that I don't see the value; it's more that I struggle to find the time. I write alongside a demanding day job and maintaining a family and household. So, mostly, my entire writing life fits into about two hours a day. Sometimes less. A few times a year, more. 

So, writing new work, promoting previously published work, networking, blogging, and keeping up a presence in the ever-changing landscape of social media keep me pretty darn busy. 

I probably visit BookBub quarterly at best. When I do, I look to see who has followed me. Whether they are readers or authors doesn't make any difference to me so far as the likelihood that I'll follow back. I just click on their link and look at what they're up to and if I spot anything of interest, I'll give them a follow. 

Then I recommend a book or two and wander off for another three months. 

I do still appreciate the newsletter offerings as a reader, though, and I know that the BookBub feature that my ex-publisher got for me at the outset really gave a boost to my number of reviews, so it's a worthwhile venture. Just not one I've really made time for yet. 

How about you? Do you make use of BookBub as a reader or writer? If so, what do you like to do with it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.