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What’s in a name?

A pen name, pseudonym, nome de plume, or literary double is an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real or legal name.

Reasons to use a Pen Name

Writing in Multiple Genres – The most common use of pen names today is by established authors who don’t want to aggravate their base readership by producing novels outside their established genre. Examples include Nora Roberts who uses JD Robb to pen her suspense novels and Jessica Byrd who changed her name to JR Ward to publish her highly successful dark suspense The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Switching Publishers– Perhaps you have an exclusivity deal with a publisher under your current name, but you have a project they aren’t as excited to publish as you are. Using a pen name would allow you to take that work to another publisher or even self-publish.

Anonymity– Maybe you just want some privacy or a strict separation between your personal and professional life. Much like in the past, many authors have day jobs or positions within their community that would be negatively impacted by their choice of writing. There have been several cases in the news about teachers who were fired or shut out of their community because it was found they wrote erotica or dark romance.

Name too common or complicated– Becoming an author has been made easier than ever with the rise of free self-publishing platforms. Standing out amongst the millions is even harder if you have a common name like John Smith or Mary Johnson. In this case, you want to choose a name that will help distinguish you from all the rest. On the flip side, if you have a long first or last name or a name with more consonants than vowels, you may stand out negatively. Hard to pronounce names mean less word of mouth recommendations and if your name is too long it might not fit neatly on your covers.

Things to consider when choosing a Pen Name

The similarity to famous Authors– You might think it a great idea to choose a pen name like JP Rawling or James Peterson, but it can actually hurt your ability to sell. The literary world is full of diehard fans who will gladly pan your work and spam your books with negative reviews in defense of their favorite authors.

Does the name you chose fit with your chosen genre– A name like Sly Nyx will be more widely accepted amongst Paranormal Romance, and Fantasy readers than Historical fiction.

Can be a variation of your real name– If you aren’t feeling particularly creative or have a name “issue” as mentioned above, it is perfectly okay to shorten your name how you see fit. It will also make filing your taxes easier since it is still technically your legal name.  Example, Elizabeth Marie Johnson could become Eliza Mar or E.M. Johns.

Position on Brick & Mortar Shelves- A much-overlooked factor in choosing a pen name. Depending on the number of items in stock a name towards the end of the alphabet like S-Z is more likely to fall on bottom shelves and away from the valuable eye-level shelf space key to grabbing reader’s attention.

Need a little help coming up with a name? Check out these fun pen name generators!

Pseudonym Generator

Reedsy Pen Name Generator

Kindlepreneur Pen Name Generator

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Shifted Into Love

I told you I had a lot of big things coming this year! One of them being a romantic shifter short, featured in the Shifted Into Love Anthology! My short, Coy Wolf is so spicy it’ll knock your socks off.

Shifted Into Love is a hot collaboration by Seven Women Authors of Color. The Release date is set for February 1st but you can reserve your copy today on Amazon!

Blurbs for Shifted into Love

From the sands of Egypt to the decadent halls of Zargobia, these seven stories will take you on the paranormal adventures your heart craves; foiling assassination attempts to shifter speed dating to being auctioned off to the highest bidder or fighting your way through the pack to claim your mate. Every story features the sexy shifters your heart and body desires, they break barriers and definitely some hearts. 

Genesis is here for two things and two things only: free food and shots. Fresh off a devastating heartbreak, the last thing on her mind is dating…especially a shifter.

Forced on a weekend getaway to the Inn for her friend’s twenty-first birthday, Crimson finds herself unable to obey the Inn’s one rule. Hands off the shifters! Sebastien, the infuriatingly handsome Pack leader and the Inn’s star attraction.

In the world of glitter, Death is handsome. He walks the world as a large wolf dog by day, a blood drinking vampire by night. Then he meets a guardian angel. The two share a poignant love breaking all boundaries giving in to their passion.

Protection assignments when the target wasn’t aware of her protection weren’t Cora’s usual fare but when someone tries to kill the prince with her nearby. She’s more than up for the challenge.

Tarnished by scandal, Jade is abandoned by her Pack, family and friends also trying to escape the taint of the scandal. Jade, with nowhere and no one to turn to, finds herself at the infamous, After Market searching for protection and a safe shelter from the storm of scandal following her.

Akil takes one look at her wild beauty and claims her as his own. But Sabra bows to no man, and she vows to never yield. Their passions topple one another in a battle of wills that threatens to claim them both.

On the hunt for a mate, the gathering is the perfect place to start. Armed with a plan and a modest list of qualifications she sets out to find her ideal match. Tyr checks every box on Sequoia’s list except the most important.

Book Swap!

I am a big promoter of Authors Supporting Authors. We were all readers once and most of us still are. This year in an effort to put my money where my mouth is. I have been chatting it up with some of my contemporaries on social media and low and behold, a book swap happened. Author Ursula Visser is my new book buddy and she sent me the most fantastically wrapped books I have ever received. Check out this evidence of her packaging mastery.

Yes! That is wooden confetti!

Carefully wrapped in paper and tied with gold laced thread, I was almost to amazed to open it. Of course, she was gracious enough to send some promotional material as well as provide me with delicious tea to relax and read. So what was inside the wrapping, you ask?

Not One but Two Books!

I am beyond grateful for the generosity of the writer’s community and I hope to be able to participate in more book swaps in the future! In the meantime, I will be diving right into Ursula’s Dragon Queen Series.

Want copies of your own? Both books are available on Amazon Here If you would like more information about Ursula Visser and her work check out her website and social media:

www.ursulavisser.com

www.facebook.com/authorursulavisser

New Beginnings!

The New Year Is Upon Us!

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season! I know I did. I love spending time with family and friends, especially when it involves copious amounts of decadent food and drinks. Even with all the parties I still managed to be somewhat productive.

If you are a follower of this blog, you may have noticed our recent changes. After several years of back and forth, I have decided to take the leap and make things official. Welcome to my brainchild Serpentine Creative LLC.

Keep tabs on this blog for updates and sneak peeks at what else I’ve been up to during the holiday season. I have so much in store for the New Year but don’t want to ruin the surprise! Let’s make this a happy and productive 2019!

Peace, Love, and Happy Reading!

Stella Williams

Giveaway Winners!

Our Winners!

Winner 1: ghernandez661 – A Signed Paperback Copy of Xander’s Claim: A Maura’s Men Novella

 Winner 2: k rawlings – A Signed Paperback Copy of Claude’s Conquest: Maura’s Men Book 2

Winner 3: katara34465 – A Signed Paperback Copy of Shane’s Redemption: Maura’s Men Book 3

Winner 4: miaheatfan7 – The Complete Maura’s Men Trilogy Signed by Stella Williams

Winners will receive an email with further information about claiming their prize. Thank you to everyone who entered the Maura’s Men Giveaway!

The Maura’s Men Series is available to purchase on Amazon. If you’ve already purchased any of Stella’s work please remember to leave a review!

New Giveaways!

Shane’s Redemption is available now! In honor of this very special occasion Serpentine Creative is hosting several giveaways for fans of Stella Williams!

Enter at the following links for a chance to win:

A Signed Paperback Copy of Xander’s Claim: A Maura’s Men Novella

A Signed Paperback Copy of Claude’s Conquest: Maura’s Men Book 2

A Signed Paperback Copy of Shane’s Redemption: Maura’s Men Book 3

The Complete Maura’s Men Trilogy Signed by Stella Williams

Winners will be announced on the Author Talk Blog as well as the Stella Williams Facebook Page December 18th by 5PM EST!

Don’t forget to Join Stella on her  FB Fan Page for the Shane’s Redemption Launch Event!  December 15th, 2018 2PM-4PM PST

Season’s Greetings

December is here! You know what that means? All the holiday novels are coming! At least for other authors. I enjoy reading all the sappy romances, laden with the scent of pine and hot chocolate. I just have yet to be able to pen my own. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be any new releases from me this month. 

Shane’s Redemption: Maura’s Men Book 3 will be released December 15th in both Print and eBook. It is currently available for PRE-ORDER so hurry up and reserve your copy! If you’ve fallen in love with Maura’s Men as much as I have, you won’t want to miss the special launch party I am having for Shane’s Redemption. Join me on Facebook Dec 15th from 2-4 PM PST for a live Q&A, giveaways and much, much, more!

Haven’t read the first two books in the series? If you don’t want to wait and take your chances in winning copies of Xander’s Claim and Claude’s Conquest. Both are available in Print and eBook Here and will be discounted the week before the release of Shane’s Redemption

As for my NaNoWriMo Novel? Keep checking here and across my other social media for updates. I promise not to keep you in the dark for too much longer. As the recent change in my website hints, big things are on the way to usher in the New Year!

Peace, Love, and Happy Reading!

-Stella Williams

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

NaNoWriMo has come to an end. It’s a bittersweet moment for me. I am glad I chose to participate and proud of the amazing output I was able to maintain throughout the month. This month of writing has given me both the inspiration and the confidence to push myself in not just writing but many other aspects of my life. Thank you to everyone who followed along with my journey and I hope you will all stick around to see what’s next in the Stellaverse.

Happy Writing!

NaNoWriMo Day 28

Community is Key

brass ornate vintage key on black computer keyboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Day 28 of NaNoWriMawesomeness! I was able to sit down and attempt to write for most of the day. I did more planning than writing to begin with. really hammering in my plot goals for each arc so I could get to the fun part of filling in the gaps. Again I cannot express the importance of having a solid group of writing friends. Even when I feel like I couldn’t possible write that day or even week, my group is there to cheer me on. While I have abandoned reaching a second 50K draft for NaNoWriMo, I haven’t given up completely on writing for the remaining days. I set a new goal of 15K words for the next couple of days and I am proud to say its looking to be quite possible.

 

Total Words By End of Day

11,411

NaNoWriMo Day 27

Back to Basics

 

adult beard blur brainstorming
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

It’s Day 27 of NaNoWriMo and I must admit that after hitting my 50K goal in the first couple of weeks I got a little over confident in my writing ability. I’d vowed to complete an entire novel draft in the remaining time without factoring in writer fatigue, mental burnout, and family time over the holidays. I’m certainly nowhere near completing a second draft but that doesn’t mean I’m not still pushing to get as many words in as I possibly can this month. To get my writing mojo back I ventured out to a local write in and thankfully it was the perfect atmosphere to get me back in the writing spirit. I added another thousand words to my draft and got to mingle with a few new writers in my area. I guess the moral of this story is never give in to the funk.

 

Total Words by End of Day

7,901

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