YA LGBT Books discussion

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Author Info & Writing Discussion > Using the same name for YA and Adult

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message 1: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16728 comments We did discuss this topic quite a bit in Need your opinion on pen names


message 2: by Dennis (new)

Dennis R. (dennis_upkins) | 7 comments Caitlin wrote: "If this has already been talked about please let me know. I have a M/M adult series and I would like to write a YA series about the daughter introduced in my adult series. She would be 15 at the st..."

I will say I have used a pen name for adult M/M stories in the past and use a different name write non adult spec fic or gay fiction. I know other authors who do the same. It's not so much ridicule for me as it is product branding. It's like Marvel Comics has a certain branding and image, which is different from Touchstone, the ABC network, or the Disney Channel, even though they are all owned by Disney.

Your adult M/M series is it sexually explicit like adult romance or is it PG-13? If it's the former, then a pen name probably wouldn't hurt, especially if you're looking to target young people with a YA series.

That's my two cents on the matter and what I would do for what it's worth. Others may feel differently for equally valid reasons.


message 3: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16728 comments Jo had kind of the same situation with a crossover character; I think she discussed it in the thread I linked. She uses two different pen names, and so do I. Although, for both of us, our adult fiction is 18+. If it wasn't, I'd probably use just one.


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo Ramsey (Jo_Ramsey) | 1017 comments I just posted about it again in the other thread...

I have an "adult" urban fantasy novel coming out in September that will be published under Jo Ramsey for the sole reason that there is NO 18+ content. (Other than some strong language, and I figure most teens have heard--and likely used--the F-word.) When the book was accepted, I discussed it with the owner of the company because I'd originally submitted it under my adult romance pen name. She and I decided that the readers of that pen name probably expect X-rated scenes, and since there aren't any in this novel (it isn't a romance, though there are romantic elements; sex is mentioned but doesn't happen, and there's a little bit of kissing), it would be better to publish it under the Jo Ramsey name. There isn't anything in it that I would keep my own daughters from reading; in fact, my 16-year-old beta read it for me.

At this point, that's the guideline I use to determine which name a book goes under: Would I let my daughters read this? If yes, it's a Jo Ramsey book; if no, it goes under the other name.


Ralph Gallagher | 122 comments If an author's books are "adult" in the sense that they're targeted toward adults rather than young adults, I have no problem with them using the same name. However, if they're writing erotic or explicit material, then I get irked when they use the same pen name.

Jo wrote: "(Other than some strong language, and I figure most teens have heard--and likely used--the F-word.)"

Ha! That reminds me: I was up at the game shop with my neighbor's grandson who tags along with me once in a while and said something with "hell" in the sentence. He said "Watch your language! I'm a kid." To which I replied "I've heard worse come out of /your/ mouth."


message 6: by James (new)

James Erich (jameserich) | 51 comments I have no doubt that teens do read "adult" material, and I don't really believe it's my place to say whether they can or can't. (I'm also not a parent. I might feel differently, if I was.) But using a pen name separates my YA novels from my other work. I'm sure a teen who really wanted to could find out what my real name is and lie about being over 18 to purchase my other stories. But I don't see it being my job to police them, so much as to make clear what age level my stories are appropriate for.


message 7: by Lissa (new)

Lissa (parisbvamp) | 64 comments I'm really thinking about this because I have an adult series, but it's not erotica, the few (and i mean few) sex scenes are hot but not crazy like some of the other stuff in the m/m genre. If my YA series are geared more toward the older kid like 16+ range, is it an issue? It's hard enough juggling my real name and one pen name, but two?


message 8: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16728 comments Lissa wrote: "I'm really thinking about this because I have an adult series, but it's not erotica, the few (and i mean few) sex scenes are hot but not crazy like some of the other stuff in the m/m genre. If my Y..."

I think it really is a question of whether you would be concerned about a kid who read your YA then going and picking up one of your adult books just because your name is on it. Are they likely to get a shock? And also perhaps, whether your adult books are hot enough to be a liability, if you decide you want to get out and interact with teens as a YA author.


message 9: by Lissa (new)

Lissa (parisbvamp) | 64 comments I think of all the scenes only one is more explicit than anything you'd see in Twilight. I know by the age of twelve I was reading regular bodice rippers like they were nothing.

If I'm writing GLBT YA doesn't that list me for criticism anyway?


message 10: by Kaje (last edited Oct 23, 2012 01:40PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16728 comments Lissa wrote: "I think of all the scenes only one is more explicit than anything you'd see in Twilight. I know by the age of twelve I was reading regular bodice rippers like they were nothing.

If I'm writing YA doesn't that list me for criticism anyway? ..."


Sometimes, some places. It's getting better, but writing anything that can be labeled as "porn" will get you kept out of YA events.

There are plenty of authors who do use the same name - just give it thought because once they are linked it's hard to undo, without starting fresh with another name.


message 11: by Byron (new)

Byron (byft) | 1060 comments I guess I'm not really qualified to talk about this as I'm neither a writer or a parent.

If you use two pen names you may loose a lot of potential readers.

If you don't use two pen names you end up alienating some people who might be in charge of letting your books be read by younger readers and cutting off a lot of books/storys

I choose to read YA because it doesn't actually have 'sex' scenes. At most it's fade to grey. Unfortunately a lot of younger teens don't really have that choice as they are reliant on accessing the titles by the choice of a librarian working under somebody else's choices of the types of books stocked.

Have a think about why your writing what do you want to do? Educate? Entertain? Relate? Where you sit with everything.


message 12: by Jo (last edited Oct 24, 2012 03:58AM) (new)

Jo Ramsey (Jo_Ramsey) | 1017 comments I don't know that you lose readers by using two pen names. It's more than twice the work trying to promote both names, but I don't think I've lost any readers. Here's why:

The teens who know me as Jo Ramsey aren't supposed to read my adult stuff anyway. As a parent myself, and a former teacher, I do consider it somewhat my responsibility to ensure that those under 18 don't find my erotic stuff. So I'm not losing any readers by not telling them my adult pen name.

The adults who read the stuff written under my other pen name *do* know about the Jo Ramsey stuff, and some have bought and read it because they liked the adult stuff. Adults read YA, and there isn't any problem about adults finding my YA books. So I'm not losing any readers here either.

The only place I'm potentially losing readers is with adults who know me as Jo Ramsey and don't know my adult pen name; however, I do mention that I have an adult pen name (as I've done here), and I've had a few adults contact me privately to ask for that name. So I don't know that I'm losing many if any readers here either.

Meanwhile I've had two people in the past week or so be completely astonished when I told them privately that I was both names. They knew me under both names already, but didn't realize it was the same person.


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