A rose by any other name…
Dear Reader,
I’ve been wondering: Why do authors write under different names? I know in the past authors used pseudonyms to hide their gender and identity.  When Wuthering Heights was published, Emily Bronte used the male pseudonym Ellis Bell, and her sister Charlotte published Jane Eyre under the name Currer Bell. Initially they hid their identities to avoid their neighbors finding out they were in fact the inspiration for many of the characters in their books.  Even Jane Austen’s name didn’t initially appear under the title of her book Sense and Sensibility. Instead the reader of the day only knew that “A Lady” had written what has now become a classic. 
We’ve come a long way, and today, female authors don’t have to disguise their gender for fear of not being published, or hide their identity to avoid being ridiculed or questioned. Rather, today’s author uses multiple names, instead of pen names or pseudonym’s. These multiple names are their alter-egos and are used to create a distinction in writing styles.  In fact some authors’ alter-egos are so distinct it’s as if two completely different people are living inside one body. The good news is that for readers, the more names an author writes under, the more there is for us to love. 
J.R. Ward/Jessica Bird
Just this past week I received an advance copy of the soon to be re-issued book An Unforgettable Lady by Jessica Bird.  Some of you may know Ms. Bird as J.R. Ward, author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’m a huge fan of J.R. Ward but have never read any of Jessica Bird’s books. It’s a much different writing style than her BDB books; it’s a contemporary romantic suspense.  So that got me thinking, and I decided to do some research into other authors who have alter egos. 
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
I think everyone knows that Nora Roberts also writes as J.D. Robb. While Nora writes single title books covering everything from contemporary romantic suspense to paranormal trilogies, J.D. Robb only writes one series, The In Death Series, which features a futuristic NYC police lieutenant and her billionaire husband. But there are so many other authors who are spreading their wings and giving us different facets of their writing personalities. 
Colleen Gleason/Joss Ware
While Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb has become part of our lexicon, Colleen Gleason/Joss Ware has just recently become part of our collective consciousness. Writing historical paranormal romance under the name Colleen Gleason she has written The Gardella Vampire Chronicles. The Chronicles are a series of five books with a continuing story arc taking place in the 19th Century and featuring Victoria Gardella who picks up the family mantle of vampire hunter. After she finished the series with the book As Shadows Fade I was sorry to leave Max, Sebastian and Victoria behind, that was until I found Joss Ware. Ms. Ware (a.k.a. Colleen Gleason) has jumped several centuries and is writing a post-apocalyptic paranormal series called the Envy Chronicles about five men known as the Awakening Heroes destined to save the world. 
Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James
On further contemplation I realized there seems to be a trend with authors and their alter egos. I’m seeing a lot of authors who have one identity writing books that are set in the past while the other writes books set in the future.  A prime example of that is Jennifer Ashley who writes the historical Mackenzies series. Between The Maddness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and the soon to be released (and by the way fantastic) Lady Isabella and her Scandalous Marriage, I’m hooked.  But I found another series to love written by her alter ego Allyson James, the paranormal romance Stormwalker. Not only are the sub-genres completely different, historical vs. paranormal, but the writing styles are as different as night and day. The most obvious difference for me is that Stormwalker is written in the first person.  
Elizabeth Hoyt/Julia Harper
The more I researched (using my own keeper shelf) I realized Ms. James is not the only author who writes under different names to reflect the different time periods and sub-genres in romance. Some of you may be fans of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Legend of the Four Solider series. Yet this Georgian-era series couldn’t be more different than her alter ego Julia Harper’s contemporary romantic comedies Hot and For the Love of Pete. 
Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick
One author with not one but two alter-egos is Jayne Castle. Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick. Contemporary, futuristic, historical, she writes them all. However with her Arcane series she is crossing alter-egos and sub-genres using one story arc across all three different and separate identities and she’s doing it in such a way that you don’t have to be a reader of all three of her alter-egos. 
So dear reader, I must say, I find it fascinating that an author can write in distinctly different styles, sometimes poles apart, and using diverse and unusual world building for each style with characters that are singular and unique. 
Right now I need your help because I’m on the hunt for more authors with alter egos.  My questions for you are: What authors have I missed? Who are your favorite authors with alter-egos? Do you automatically buy books from your favorite author’s alter-ego? Are there authors that you read but don’t read their alter-ego’s books?  
Until, next Monday, remember, there’s a book waiting to be read.
Marisa
Marisa is an avid reader and a television producer.
Check out Melanie Murray at Romantic Reads – she’s giving a mid-term report on the best books for 2010. Join the discussion – I’ve already posted what mine are.

 

Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb

I think everyone knows that Nora Roberts also writes as J.D. Robb. While Nora writes single title books covering everything from contemporary romantic suspense to paranormal trilogies, J.D. Robb only writes one series, The In Death Series, which features a futuristic NYC police lieutenant and her billionaire husband. But there are so many other authors who are spreading their wings and giving us different facets of their writing personalities. 


Colleen Gleason/Joss Ware

While Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb has become part of our lexicon, Colleen Gleason/Joss Ware has just recently become part of our collective consciousness. Writing historical paranormal romance under the name Colleen Gleason she has written The Gardella Vampire Chronicles Series. The Chronicles are a series of five books with a continuing story arc taking place in the 19th Century and featuring Victoria Gardella who picks up the family mantle of vampire hunter. I must admit, after she finished the series with the last book As Shadows Fade (Gardella Vampire Chronicles Series #5), I was sorry to leave Max, Sebastian, and Victoria behind—that was, until I found Joss Ware. Ms. Ware (aka Colleen Gleason) has jumped several centuries and is now writing a post-apocalyptic paranormal series called the The Envy Chronicles about five men known as the Awakening Heroes destined to save the world. 


Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James

On further contemplation I realized there seems to be a trend with authors and their alter egos. I’m seeing a lot of authors who have one identity writing books that are set in the past, while the other identity writes books set in the future. A prime example of that is Jennifer Ashley who writes the historical Mackenzies series. Between The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie and the soon to be released (and by the way fantastic) Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, I’m hooked. But I found another series to love written by her alter ego Allyson James, the paranormal romance Stormwalker. Not only are the sub-genres completely different, historical vs. paranormal, but the writing styles are as different as night and day. The most obvious difference for me is that Stormwalker is written in the first person.

 

Elizabeth Hoyt/Julia Harper

The more I researched (using my own keeper shelf) I realized Ms. James is not the only author who writes under different names to reflect the different time periods and sub-genres in romance. Some of you may be fans of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Legend of the Four Soldiers Series,yet this Georgian-era series couldn’t be more different from her alter ego Julia Harper’s contemporary romantic comedies Hot and For the Love of Pete . 


Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick

One author who has not one but two alter egos is Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick who writes contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance. However Ms. Krentz/Castle/Quick has added just a bit more and with her Arcane series she is crossing alter egos and sub-genres using one story arc across all three different and separate identities, and she’s doing it in such a way that you don’t have to be a reader of all three of her alter egos. You have to admit, that's quite amazing!


So, dear reader, I must say, I find it fascinating that an author can write in distinctly different styles, sometimes poles apart, and using diverse and unusual world building for each style with characters that are singular and unique. 


Right now I need your help because I’m on the hunt for more authors with alter egos. My questions for you are: What authors have I missed? Who are your favorite authors with alter egos? Do you automatically buy books from your favorite author’s alter ego? Are there authors that you read but don’t read their alter ego’s books?  

 

Until next Monday, remember there's a book waiting to be read. - Marisa

 

 

Check out Melanie Murray at Romantic Reads—she’s giving a mid-term report card on the best book of 2010 so far. Join the discussion! (I’ve already posted what books I think are the best so far this year.)

 

 

 

Marisa O’Neill is an avid reader and television producer.

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Comments
by KatiD317 on ‎06-14-2010 12:57 PM

Oooh! Awesome topic Marisa! I read somewhere that Nora had to write JD Robb under another name because she was so prolific the publisher worried about her books competeing against each other. Doesn't matter to me, I'll read anything she slaps her name on. ;o)

 

Colleen also writes steamy erotic romance as Colette Gale.

 

Doesn't Jenna Peterson have a pseudonym?

 

JR Ward also writes as Jessica Bird

 

Sherrilyn Kenyon also writes (wrote?) as Kinley MacGregor

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎06-14-2010 10:27 PM

Hi Kati!! You're right, and thanks for reminding me that Colleen Gleason writes under three different names - I forgot about that!  And yes, Jenna Peterson writes erotic romance under Jess Michaels.  I used the cover for J.R. Wards book An Unforgettable Lady written as Jessica Bird on the teaser for this blog- they're reissuing it in July and it has a sparkly new cover.  

 

You know I'm a huge Kenyon fan but somehow have never read a MacGregor book - I think I need to rectify that - thanks for the heads up on that one. 

 

As usual, you've given me more books to put on my TBR pile... Love you for that!

by pjpuppymom on ‎06-16-2010 08:23 AM

Oh Marisa, you definitely need to give Kinley MacGregor a try.  *Wonderful* medieval romances and a terrific back list!

 

Jenna Petersen is also writing zombie comedy under the name of Jesse Petersen.  Her first book, "Married with Zombies" will be released in September. 

 

Pamela Palmer writes paranormals under that name and time-travel historicals under the name of Pamela Montgomerie.

 

Debut historical writer, Maggie Robinson also writes edgy erotic stories under the name of Margaret Rowe. 

 

 

 

 

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎06-16-2010 09:09 AM

Hey PJ!  You're not the first person to tell me to give Kinley MacGregor a try - but you'll be the last... I'm putting an order in right now for Born In Sin - they have it in digital format!

 

I had no idea that Jenna Petersen would be releasing a zombie comedy under the alter-ego Jesse Petersen - wow, sounds intriguing; I'll have to be on the look out for that one. I guess the new vampire paranormal is the zombie paranormal.  

 

I did read Maggie Robinson's Mistress by Mistake and I happen to have Margaret Rowe's Tempting Eden on my TBR pile but I had no idea that Maggie and Margaret were one in the same. Now I'm excited to start reading Tempting Eden to see if there are any differences in writing style . 

 

Thanks so much PJ for all the info... Now on to tackle new authors/alter-egos. 

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎06-24-2010 10:17 AM

Hi Marisa, here's some more for your conundrum.

 

Deborah Cooke/Claire Delacroix

Heather Graham/Shannon Drake

Janet Evanovich/Steffie Hall

Kay Hooper/Kay Robbins

Julie Garwood/Emily Chase

Lisa Gardner/Alicia Scott

 

My take on some of them is that when they started their career as romance authors it was before romance was as cool to be a fan like it is now and they had pen names sort of like the Brontes etc. Then when people FINALLY decided it was okay to be a romance fan they went to their real names. Like Janet E.,Kay, Julie and LIsa. And Janet E is re-issuing her old romances under her real name.

by on ‎07-01-2010 02:17 AM

Ok now I'm wondering why I could not stand the Deborah Cooke book I picked up, but loved the Claire Delacroix one. (shaking head)

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