Should You Use a Pen Name Part 2

I was asked recently about publishing under multiple names and this week we continue to explore the topic with author Lynn Carmer.

Tell us about you as human, and you as author.

Hello, I write red-hot and humorous romance novels under the pen names Lynn Carmer and Veva Sol. I write contemporary romance under my Lynn name and paranormal and sci/fi under my Veva name. When I first began writing, I was teaching 7th grade, and considering my books can get a little spicy, I definitely knew I needed to choose a pen name. Little did I know I would end up choosing two.

What made you start writing fiction and how long have you been at it?

I have always been obsessed with romance novels. I devoured teen-romance as a kid, and quickly moved on to the adult stuff as soon as I hit high school. After I began teaching, and had my two daughters, that little voice in my mind that had only been a whisper became a roar. It went something like, “Hey dummy, you read this stuff all the time. You can do this. You can write one of these.” I took the leap in 2009, and since then I have written ten books.

How long did it take you to get published (traditional or self-pub or hybrid—just explain)

In 2010, after writing for about a year, I was lucky enough to be published with Bonaparte Press. I had a great relationship with them, and I wrote four books for them. Unfortunately, that press shut down, as many smaller publishing houses have done in the past 10 years. The good news is, I got the rights back to all four books, and I decided to indie publish them. The learning curves was steep, but I enjoyed the process so much, I decided to continue indie pubbing the rest of my books. It has been a wild and wonderful ride since then.

How many books have you published under your real name (or 1st pen name)?

Eight of my books are published under Lynn Carmer.

Why did you decide to publish under a different name? (I assume it was your decision, but if it was your publisher’s decision, please address that and also how you felt about it—it seems to me that it would double the time it takes to market but maybe not.)

The decision to publish under a second pen name was all my own. I agonized over the decision because it did seem like a lot of extra work. I had two important reasons for my decision. The first was I wanted a pen name that reflected a little bit more of who I am, and my culture. Veva Sol fits the bill, and satisfied that need. The second reason was much more practical. After many years of writing, I had grown a loyal and fun reader group on Facebook. They loved to talk about my Charm School Series which is the series I had focused on since indie publishing in 2015. This series is contemporary romance, and I absolutely loved writing it. But I also love to write paranormal and sci/fi romance, and no matter how much I brought it up, most of those readers weren’t interested. No one wanted to hear about my Gargoyle-shifters or golden aliens. So, I made the decision to write all my contemporaries under Lynn and the paranormal and sci/fi under Veva. My website has both names under it, it isn’t a secret, so that makes marketing easier.

How many books have you published under your pen (or 2nd pen) name?

I have written two books under my second pen name, and I am currently working on a three book series to be released this year.

How did you come up with your pen name?

I love my pen names because they encompass all of the crazy parts of me, my family, and my various cultures. Carmer is a family name on the Irish side of the family. Veva is short for my nickname growing up, and Sol is part of a family name on my Puerto Rican side of the family. It is also part of my mother-in-law’s name, who recently passed, so the name means the world to me.

How does having a pen name effect any marketing you do?

As I mentioned before, both names are under the same website and newsletter. I have to maintain more than one page or profile on different social media sites, so that takes up extra time, but as I mentioned there isn’t much crossover. One group does not have the same interests as the other. When I do paid advertisements, I focus on the book I’m promoting at the time, so it doesn’t get overwhelming. It really isn’t that much more work that I was doing with just one name.

Do you market the same with both names? How does that work?

Yes, basically it’s the same, but the content varies, of course.

What are the pros of using a pen name?

I think if an author writes in very different genres, it is a real pro to use more than one pen name. Romance readers can be very particular about what they read, and you run the risk of losing them if you aren’t meeting their needs.

Cons?

It is extra work, but for me it hasn’t been too bad. It has been worth it so far.

If you could do it all over again would you do it differently? How and why?

I made the choice the past year, and I have been really happy with it.

Lynn Carmer can be contacted at the below:

Lynn Carmer Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynn.carmer.5

Lynn Carmer FB Group (Carmer’s Charmers): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1850040638552307/

Veva Sol FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/vevasolauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

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