My intention for this page is to capture key information related to the body of work of stories as they evolve over the coming years.
As Campbell Xen Cross
I have made a deliberate decision to publish the speculative fiction I develop under a pen name: Campbell Xen Cross.
Why? To mitigate the effects of brand dilution from the reader’s perspective.
Writing under a pen name makes it simpler for readers to find the fiction works they actually want to read.
As Gisele Thomson
Ideas and stories are starting to bubble up that look and feel like creative nonfiction. This is the main reason why I’ve included Gisele Thomson here as a header.
I also intend to write about a number of nonfiction subjects under my name Gisele Thomson. These nonfiction subjects would include: adult learning, personal development, creating stories and building worlds, innovation and innovation diffusion, copywriting, entrepreneurship, as a starting point. New areas may emerge over the years stretched out ahead. You won’t find those projects here because the focus of this domain is on creating fiction.
Why go through the trouble of using your real name and a pen name or more?
A concrete example of this, for me, relates to how I will actively purchase and read Joanna Penn’s nonfiction work. For no particular reason, I haven’t yet made the time to check out her thriller fiction as J.F. Penn nor her sweet romance fiction as Penny Appleton. You can observe how she has organized her publications under her names at her website.
There are many arguments for and against writing under a pen name. I found that Dean Wesley Smith offered compelling reasons to write under pen names. He shares examples from his publishing life and from that of his wife Kristine Katherine Rusch.
Interestingly, later, after I had committed to a pen name, when reading Kristine Katherine Rusch’s work on promoting your books, she shared how she would probably write everything under her own name now. She reflected that this would make the most sense, given the way that the publishing industry has been impacted by digital book sales and self-publishing models.
This change has created the ideal conditions for her and her husband to set up their own independent publishing company to publish their collective works. She said she would use visual cues and other ways to brand the types of fiction and nonfiction published under her name. However, in the old publishing model, having several pen names allowed her, in part, to manage a high production quotient that could not, or would not, be sustained by the traditional publisher.
There are no easy answers on the decision to establish, and maintain, a pen name. This can be especially challenging in the era of social media. Managing multiple accounts can be time consuming and runs the risk of impacting the time available to produce new fiction works. To each their own. This is the course I’ve set for myself, so far. We’ll see how the experiment turns out in the long run. 😊
Images courtesy of the artists at Pixabay.