March 6, 2013

Painting an Image: IWSG & ROW80

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch.

When I set out to write a book, I thought the hardest part would be over once I held the finished copy in my hands. Little did I know how much time and effort I would put into marketing my book. 

My first book, Depression Cookies, was women's fiction. I wanted to present an authentic version of myself, as a woman, in order to gain readers' trust and create an online writing community. To that end, I often post pictures of my kids and talk about women's issues. It's been very fulfilling to connect with women.

However, my second release will be a young adult novel. Creating an author platform for younger teenagers to young adults feels like a completely different challenge, leaving me with several perplexing considerations.

Will young adult readers be turned off by too much of a mother image/older woman? 
Although it pains me to say older as a new 40 year old! I know my teenager, and avid YA reader, would be completely unimpressed with an author talking about women's issues and posting quips from her kids.

Should I use a pen name to differentiate between the two genres I write? 
My mom and I are currently writing the follow up to Depression Cookies, so I will continue to have a presence in women's fiction. 

My author name for that series is Tia Silverthorne Bach, since my mom is also listed as a co-author. I want readers to immediately see our connection. For my YA series, I had planned to use Tia Bach. But should I go for something completely different?

Does all of this leave me creating two distinct blogs?
Here, I often admit what an out of touch dork I am. Wouldn't YA readers want to think I'm at least an in touch dork, with little emphasis on the dork? 

Here I talk about insecurity, writing dilemmas, etc. Heck, look at my color scheme. I've noticed almost all YA authors have dark backgrounds, and mine is just screaming wholesome, clean cut writer.

It's not like the time fairy will visit to bless me with more hours in a day just because I have two books out in two different genres.

What's a confused author to do?


It's Wednesday, and time for another A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update...

Writing: Slow progress here, because most of my time has been spent on edits. Plus, the kids are home for a snow day today. First real snow in the last two years. Sometimes, Mama comes first.

Editing: Waist-deep in edits on Chasing Memories. Off to Jo Michaels for editing on Friday. So excited to hit send and get on the road to publishing.

Blogging: Currently posting daily for the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC), then it's back to my MWF schedule until the Blogging from A to Z Challenge starts April 1. Who's joining me for that one?

@@@ And thanks to some things I'm learning with the WABC, I created an author Facebook page (before I had a Depression Cookies page). Please go and like if you are so inclined. Thanks! @@@

Reading: Posting reviews at least twice a week on Mom in Love with Fiction, but my TBR list grows daily. Maybe I'll convince the girls that a snow day is an excellent Family Read Day.

Wishing all my author friends countless words and minimal insecurities today!


Elise Fallson said...

I think it's great that you're writing YA! And I wish I could give you advice about 'yes' or 'no' about using a different pen name. There are pros and cons on both sides but I have seen authors use multiple names to separate their work. Maybe if you could get into contact with someone like that they could answer your questions based on their experience.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I'm not sure what to do about the pen name. I know people who write in one genre under one name and another as another number. It's a bit confusing. I'm not sure how you would decide between the two. I have a couple books written in two genres and I'd probably not post one genre because I want to have a platform built in one genre. But that's just me - you are welcome to do more than one!

Natasha Hanova said...

Like Elise, I'm not sure what to tell you about the pen name thing. I know some writers use different ones, but eventually reveal their real name.

Best of luck in your writing endeavors, Tia!

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

Such a great question and it's one that I'm contemplating myself. I am not published yet but I've been tossing up the idea of using a pen name. I've read some pros and cons on the subject and I'm on the fence of what to do. Sorry I can't help. I know that some authors who write different genres do it for just that reason.

Sh said...

I agree with Elise - Seek advice from those in your position.

Also, pen names are great for separating each genre, but then doesn't that also mean you need another author platform? That's scary hard work!

I think as long as you get it reviewed on popular sites who specifically focus on YA fiction, and that you participate in their forums (I so need to do this) you should be okay. I think how much you need a separate platform/blog is all according to the YA age level you write. Is it middle grade (you may need another platform)? Older YA or YA and Adult (New Adult - my genre)? I worry about this myself, I'm 41 this year and I discuss all sorts of issues on my blog - even mental health, but mostly it's about storytellers and their stories - books and authors! I chose a blog design which would suit adults and YA alike (I hope) - Genesis have great themes for wordpress, but you can also get some beautiful ones free now, too.

All I know for sure is that I don't think anyone will benefit by your writing time being taken up with another blog. Perhaps do a blog redesign which could fit both ages. Perhaps do a YA meme once a week to bring their readership to you.

All the best, Tia. X

Misha Gerrick said...

Not ALL of them. My blog has a light background and I write mainly YA, although not exclusively.

I think the wise choice would be to have a blog for your YA book specifically, but only if you think you can sustain its content by writing interesting stuff regularly.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Tia, my free advice (and worth that amount): consider whether a pen name is worth the extra work. Could you have some themes that are YA, for example, and schedule them?

Also, I chose a pen name (my middle and maiden names) so the people looking for my fiction don't have to pore through my dusty, dry, academic stuff. If I were to change fiction genres, I would still write under the same pen name, because I wouldn't want to do two platforms. I don't have to do a platform for my academic stuff-- the three people who want to read it don't need a platform. :)

Eden Mabee said...

Tia, the word from my son (he's seven tomorrow, so maybe a bit young for your target audience, although he's been reading chapter books on his own for a few years now) is that he likes the way your website looks. Then again, he also likes pink and butterflies and sparkles... (we'll see how long that lasts now that he's chosen to go to school).

As for the name--I think it's cool. (So does the Boodle... He did ask if you play music too.)

I don't know if this idea would work for you, but perhaps you could create an author website (I know it's easier to do on some platforms than others, but I won't push towards Wordpress) with a static opening page and have your subblogs as tabs off it...

alberta ross said...

I would think a seperate space for YA maybe for the book/s - small posts on the how why and wherefor of the writing of YA book - the particular book - can be a different blog or seperate pages on your blog to send folk to - I would go for a different blog myself. It's not so hard to keep up unless you feel an overwhelming urge to post every day - Have a stack of relevent short posts before you start so you have some in hand
and I personally quite enjoy name changes - seperate hats for seperate genre why not?:)