Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Yes, I have a pen name

No, I won't tell you what it is.

I've been asked several times about this lately, so this is why I'm posting about it here, though I had thought I'd mentioned on this blog at least a few times before. The fact I have a pen name in and of itself is not a secret, but the actual name is.

For the most part, my pen name writes in the same genres as I do, fantasy and horror.

Why do I have a pen name?

A few reasons, most of them somewhat embarrassing to me.

For one thing, some of the material is, to be honest, not my best work. Some of it is pretty old, going back 20 years. Some of it is pretty juvenile, in my opinion. And I don't want that work associated with my public name as a writer. If this material is so bad, why publish it at all? Well, I hadn't ever planned to, but then I saw a year or so back on his blog that Dean Wesley Smith suggested publishing material that wasn't necessarily one's best, but to do so under a pen name. So that got me thinking, and after thinking a while, I went ahead and published the stuff. It doesn't bring in nearly as many sales as my "name" material, but every sale helps.

Second, some of the material leans toward either the experimental or the potentially controversial. Frankly, I want the freedom to be able to explore whatever I want with my writing, and I don't want the headaches of hearing from every nut job with an axe to grind. No, I don't write erotica, at least not yet, and if I did, I'd probably use yet another pen name. And no, I don't generally write political related material.

As I said, my pen name mainly consists of fantasy and horror material. Within those genres, sometimes the stories and themes can go in directions not everyone appreciates or even approves of.

To repeat: No, I won't tell you what my pen name is.

But I'll give you this ... if you guess, and guess correctly, I'll fess up. But only to you, and only in private. And if you give away my secret, my pen name will do awful things to you in his next novel. I mean truly awful things. Like with bananas and barbed wire and stuff.


Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, most interesting. The mystery of Ty deepens!

Keith West said...

"But I'll give you this ... if you guess, and guess correctly, I'll fess up."

This almost sounds like a challenge. :)

Ty Johnston said...

Keith, take it however you want it. :-)