In protest against the local coffee shop which has now apparently been designated as a crèche, I've decided to set up my own writer's café. So please form an orderly queue and get it while it's hot.
First things first. In case you haven't seen it, may I please draw your attention to the new feedback page. Thank you. Now on with today's chin-wag.
I'm reliably informed that publishers like to build a marketable brand from an author and their books. This means that their name will become associated with that brand and hopefully sell more copies. This is fine; this is business and it's what happens in many other areas of commerce.
But what about authors who want to write in more than one genre? The publishers are not going to like it when their best-selling romantic novelist suddenly produces a three volume epic Sci-Fi space opera, it would compromise the branding. So what to do?
I'll answer that question, but first let's have a look at the results from last week's blogstorming session.
A widower is left a fortune by his wife. She never told him about the money. Why?
- She was a professional fraudster.
- It was her 'running away money'.
- She was Lord Lucan's secret daughter.
- She was a jewel thief.
- He might spend it all.
- She was a Russian spy.
- She was a *gasp* secret writer and he didn't know.
- She invented 'Marmite' but her husband hated it and she didn't like to upset him.
- Money was not a subject ever to be mentioned, too vulgar and a construct of the capitalist west. She was a very screwed-up old-fashioned liberal but counted Marx as her best friend. From childhood she would only suck the thumb of her left hand. Her mother wore a Maggie Thatcher hair helmet and constantly beat her in order to spare her while goading her to recite, "There is no such thing as family". It proved too much and she became a serial killer whose hallmark was to mutilate the right hands of her victims. Eventually she ended up as the subject for a Midsomer Murders special and so was finally committed to a special hospital.
- She never told him because she never told him anything, they never had a proper conversation, not once in thirty years and now she's dead he's going to Cuba with a lingerie model called Ginger.
- She wrote (very successful) erotica under a pseudonym.
- She was saving up to pay a hit-man to kill him.
- He would want to know where she got it from.
- She was worried it would spoil their relationship.
- She was a bigamist and the money is her inheritance from her 'other' husband.
- She visited Haiti in her youth, a witch doctor cast a voodoo spell over her, she turned into a zombie and had actually lived for 400 years secretly selling the spell to the rich and famous before the spell ran out and she finally copped it.
- She knew he would have a problem knowing his wife had more money than he did.
- She was the secret lover of a member of the royal family.
- It was left her by his mother who hated him, to give her a fresh start alone.
- It was none of his business anyway (she was a feminist).
- She printed 20 pound notes in the garden shed in her spare time.
- She was a bank robber and had a sawn off shot-gun hidden in her knickers drawer.
- She was an escort or a high-class prostitute in her spare time.
- She stole it, or won the lottery and didn't tell him.
- She was paid to marry him, and to stay married because of his position in an internet security firm.
- Not her money, screw up by solicitor, and then the people turn up that want their money back.
Many many thanks to you all for your excellent contributions. I will eventually reveal which one I choose for my story. In the mean time, feel free to add more.
Now we return to the question of breaking out of your branded genre. If you didn't already know then you've probably guessed by now that the answer is to use one or more pen-names. There are plenty of famous examples of this, including our own Sue Mongredien who writes children's book under her own name but romantic fiction as Lucy Diamond.
So my question to you is: what genres would you like to write and what pen-names would you use?