Monday, July 3, 2017

I Killed Off A Writer!

By Vonnie Davis

No, I've not confused things. I haven't killed off a character. I've choked the life out of a writer. And the writer was me to a degree. My nom de plume.

Renae DeVeau.

A pretty name, isn't it? More melodious to the ear than Vonnie Davis. I've always disliked my first name. I get tired of saying, "No, not Bonnie...not Connie...or Lonnie...or Ronnie...and so forth."

But why create another persona after writing eighteen or so books? I've finally amassed a small amount of readers who auto-buy my new releases. Great for me, but not always for them. Sometimes my books are on the edge of being erotic. And my readers aren't happy about that.

So, why not lower the heat level? Sometimes my characters won't allow me. They have their own agenda. I recently wrote an erotic with light-hearted almost humorous elements of BDSM. I'd decided halfway through writing it, the author would be Renae DeVeau. A safe place to put all my erotic stories.

I contracted the book with The Wild Rose Press. Alicia is my editor. We were good with using this new identity.

Then I was asked to write a Kindle Worlds novella for Carly Phillips series, "Dare to Love." I was humbled and excited. It wasn't until after I agreed that I found out the heat level had to be erotic with some BDSM. **head desk** Renae was to publish those kinds of stories. She wasn't wanted. I was.

Well, drats.



This releases the 25th of this month.

Then I was asked to be part of a holiday boxed set with Desiree Holt. She wanted nine authors and I was one. How cool was that? Well, we all know Ms Desiree doesn't write "cool." She writes hot erotic. So would I to be included in the set. Not Renae...me.

So, here I was with a website, a facebook page, a twitter account for an author with one freaking book while Vonnie Davis who wrote very spicy reads was now cranking out erotic with spanking--something I'd never allow a man to do to me.

How much sense did it make to have this second identity? Aly and I talked about it and decided to use my real name on Mr. OH, a Dominant and Jazz a reluctant submissive.

I've killed off a writer...me...Renae DeVeau.

Do any of you write under more than one identity? How do you handle it?

25 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Renae DeVeau! Cool name.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, I'm sorry your attempt to be a split personality failed...I see why you tried, but I also see why it didn't work. From everyone I've talked to, assuming two names (or more) is such hard work...you don't need the hassle. On your website, you can rate the steam level of your books so readers know what they're getting...and most readers know how to assess steam level from the blurb and product key words. My writing has changed the other direction...more mystery/less heat, but I think my blurbs make that clear. We're evolving...taking risks....and that's a good thing!

Jannine Gallant said...

I started out writing historicals but switched to romantic suspense. I feel like I should have two separate entities for each sub-genre but never got around to it. Now I don't have time for the historical writing, anyway, when I'm producing 2-3 suspense books per year. It's a dilemma, for sure. But your name sells, and it's not like your regular "Vonnie" books are tame. I think your readers will understand.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I think it was a good idea, but not necessarily needed. If a regular fan loves your work and accidentally gets a book to hot to handle, well, she knows they aren't all like that and will just be more careful next time. I never even wanted to write under one pen name. Too much trouble. And congrats!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Angela. I loved it. Calvin helped me make up the last name. We're a team, even though he no longer writes. He's on for consultation duty. LOL

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Rolynn. On my Author Central bio page, I did put I write the gamut from "sensual to spicy to erotic." I'll need to make some changes to my website, too. Good idea.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

No, I seldom write tame. I write what heat level I enjoy reading. And I love a book that makes me laugh until the bed shakes since bedtime is the only time I get to read anymore.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Brenda, I have one firemen book where the guy is a Dominant. He talks to the heroine about D/s. I've gotten more one star reviews for that book, even with all its humor, because I mentioned BDSM. I went onto Author Central and added a note..."Contains light BDSM." I even wrote it in bold. Now they can't complain that they didn't know until after they started reading it.

Alison Henderson said...

How wonderful to be in such demand, even if it does cause a bit of a conundrum! When I switched from writing Western historicals to contemporary romantic suspense, I wondered if I should separate the identities. I ultimately decided it was too much trouble and I didn't have enough dedicated readers to bother. Your situation is quite different, but I think you made the right choice.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I want to read some thing from each of our roses here. I went into my read file. Saw I'd read a couple of your straight romances. Wonder if I left reviews. I'll check. Went to your Amazon page and don't feel I'm seeing them all. Don't you have a bear shifter series? I want to read one of your more erotic books. Any suggestions?

Leah St. James said...

I do write under a pen name, and it's a pain in the you-know-what! I decided on a pen name because I started out with a very spicy BDSM story and a friend/erotic author told me it's a good idea for protection (plus my kids begged for anonymity). While most of my writing is pretty spicy, that's the only kinky one in the group...unless you count ghostly encounters as "kinky"! So I have sort of the reverse dilemma. I even have a children's story under my pen name! I've handled it by clearly labeling on my website and in the product information on the retail sites. As fun as Renae sounds, I think it's wonderful that they want "Vonnie." :-) Fabulous cover on DARE TO LOVE, by the way!

Alicia Dean said...

Yes, it's a shame that poor Renae had to be offed, but maybe it was for the best. Less hassle and all the readers who love your stuff no matter how spicy can easily find you. The cover for A Stranger's Dare is fabulous!!! Very elegant and sexy. Myself and TWRP were happy to make things easy. :) Best wishes!!

Andrea Downing said...

Vonnie, I believe there is a 'movement' toward authors having more than one genre they write in--i.e., out with the pen name, in with the real name sort of thing. And you are victim to it. And I wish you much success.

Diane Burton said...

After I'd written a few sci-fi romances, I wrote a romantic suspense. I kept my name because I'd already built an audience. However, I'm thinking of publishing a YA space adventure. I'd rather younger readers didn't read my more mature books, so I'll probably use a different name. Although it doesn't seem to bother Rick Riordan's readers that he writes adult fiction as well as YA. I do like the sound of Renae DeVeau. Sounds sexy.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Alison. I hope I made the right choice. It'll be easier promo wise.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Brenda, the first bear shifter book is A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION. A book with some light BDSM is FOR THE LOVE OF A FIREMAN. It's only 99cents.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm glad you like the cover, Leah. It's one of the few times the couple are dressed. LOL I had no clue you used a nom de plume...am I spelling that correctly?

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Alicia, I'm glad TWRP didn't fuss about changing my name on all the paperwork and the cover if they've started it yet.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Andrea. I hope it works out well.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Diane, writing for different ages might be a little different than various heat levels. I don't know which is the best way to go there. Do what suits your fancy.

Leah St. James said...

Vonnie, Leah is my real given name. The last name is the fake part. My real last name is shared by an English professor at Harvard who also publishes books (probably treatises on some highly intellectual topics). I'm sure she would prefer me to use my fake name as well! :-)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Calvin's brother taught statistics at Harvard, Leah. He couldn't get into UVA because he was black, not could he go to our state's capital to receive his award for having the highest math score in high school. He was told in a letter, it would be mailed to him, that his being Black meant he couldn't be honored in any way for academics. He went to Howard and eventually got his PhD. at Harvard and taught there. The only times he returned to VA was for his father's funeral and to help move his mother to Calvin's house in Maryland.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'll order it, Vonnie.

Brenda Whiteside said...

You got my hackles up, Vonnie.

Leah St. James said...

Mine, too (hackles up). That's the kind of personal story that makes me doubt/regret our decision to move here (to Va.), Vonnie.