Pseudonym for Criminal and Corrupt, Silly and Shallow

I have been thinking seriously about taking a pseudonym for my new series and setting up a new site.

Red Clay and Roses is a serious novel about serious issues. It was my debut novel and despite its flaws I am rather proud of it.

The Naked Eye Series is totally different writing. The writing style is different. The voice is different. The genre is different. The characters are sometimes silly. The behaviors of ancillary characters can be shallow. The crimes are serious.  But the overall flavor of the book is amusing…well, sort of.

Doubt, the raven, and I have been dusting furniture today. His feathers came in handy. We moved around some nick-nacks, took down a couple, and added a few, trying to get the house in order.

The rocket scientist says the book, Naked Alliances, “Has merit.” We worked on a couple of paragraphs, tweaked a few lines. He’s helping me tighten it up some. He is three chapters away from the end. There were still a few typos, wrongly used words. Road for rode, was for what, crng for cringe, pron for porn, threshold for door jamb, some dropped commas, a few periods where commas should be.

Now that it is closer for to being ready for other eyes, I am having reservations about presenting it. Not that I am ashamed of it or embarrassed. I just wonder if I shouldn’t have a pseudonym for this sort of work that stands apart from anything more serious that I write…like historical fiction, women’s fiction, a memoir.

I have given some thought to creating another web site. As I have said before, I don’t want to publish this until I have at least two more ready to go. There is plenty of time to prepare, I would think. Anyone here interested in following that site could certainly do so. But I suppose having a wacko crime fiction dedicated site, specifically for the series, makes a lot of sense.

What do you think? Pseudonym? Separate site?

For lack of anything better to do today I played with my character profiles. Here’s some screenshots:



I am really bored today. Hummm! What other trouble can I get myself into?

Start book two?

40 thoughts on “Pseudonym for Criminal and Corrupt, Silly and Shallow

  1. Tough decision, and one every author goes through. I suppose if I were to write something completely different I might do the same thing. I wouldn’t want to confuse my fan, I mean fans, yeah fans.

    Is it possible to create a new page and have everything at one address? I don’t know if WordPress will update both pages. It just sounds easier on the housekeeping. Maybe you should ask Helena/Jessica what her experience is.

      • I know you can, and I follow several folks who do. I don’t think I’d like all the upkeep personally. You might ask some who do it either way and see what their opinions are. Hopefully a few will stop by and share.

      • It can be a lot to juggle — and sooner or later something has to be put down in order to focus on one thing or the other. I actually have another site which I operate under my own name — but after a while, trying to run both of them and draw attention to both of them in order to gain readership became impossible, and slowly but surely, I began to neglect my other site, to the point that I maybe visit it once ever two or three months now.
        I wouldn’t recommend trying to run two sites. If it’s branding your after — then yes, a pseudonym might be for you. Especially if you want to distance the two works — do you think that the two have separate audiences?

        • The two definitely have separate audiences, but I think about myself. I like crime fiction and I like historical fiction, so whose really to say? I like funny crappy stuff and I like really deeply serious and reflective stuff.

  2. Not sure why you wouldn’t go with something like “S.K. Nicholls My Brand of Genius.” You can talk about what ever the hell you want to. New book old book. Who cares? Keep it simple.

    • That’s true. People who come to my site after reading Red Clay and Roses are not going to find too much that isn’t more shocking than what’s in there really. People who come here after reading my crime novels may not be interested in that book, but the way Amazon posts covers, they may not even make any association to that book simply by author name. Maybe I could get GE to make me a promotional header for the Naked Eye Series.

    • I am ambivalent about it. Part of me wants to just call this home and have separate menus for the different types of writing and part of me wants to go all out with something new.

  3. It’s a difficult decision. For me, I probably wouldn’t have the time or desire to maintain two sites, so that would solve the problem for me. I might still go with a pseudonym, but I’d list both books on my main website (which for me is my blog). A separate page for each book could set the tone for each. But if you’ve got the ambition to do another site, go for it. 🙂

    • Spreading myself too thin is part of my worry. I would be okay to call this home and have separate menus for the different writing.

      The more I think of pseudonyms the more I am against it only because I see many titles by the same author which are certainly NOT the same author, so does it REALLY matter? Tim Baker, for example, writes wacko FL crime. There is also an author by the same name who writes deeply religious spiritual guidance books. People reading RC&R may not even associate S.K. Nicholls to crime fiction and vice versa. Until and unless they come to this web site and see them both posted, HA!

        • That’s another thought. Maybe I’ll see if I can get Green Embers or Dean to make me a cool Naked Eye header to go on this site when the books actually do get ready…maybe even earlier. Tell you a secret. I have lost some fans since I started talking about this series…some folk are put off by it. Likewise, I have picked up some fans who are new and interested in it.

  4. A pseudonym could work if you think the two books should be kept unassociated. The trick is to make sure you don’t reveal yourself because then it kind of defeats the purpose of a pseudonym. At least I think it does. I’m curious to see what name you come up with, but I wouldn’t post it here. 🙂

    • I am still in debate about that. Wondering if it is necessary. I have already posted all over this blog about the Naked Eye Series and Naked Alliances. It’s not like RC&R is selling off the shelves or anything like that. I can definitely see the benefit of having another Facebook page for the series. I wonder if you can set your WordPress up to post to a specific Facebook page. You’d probably just have to turn it off auto and hand post what you wanted posted on each Facebook site.

      • You can have it go to a specific Facebook page, but you would have to switch it with every post. Otherwise it goes to one you designated the last time.

        You have a point about mentioning this story all over your current blog. It will be easy for people to figure out they’re connected. I guess a plus side is that you earn a reputation as being a multi-genre/versatile author.

        (I have no idea if I’m making sense. I’m on hour 8 of a writing binge.)

  5. Donald Westlake wrote novels under different names–he used Westlake for the comic crime capers, and Richard Stark or Tucker Coe for his serious thrillers. However, it was always an open secret that he was one person, and his publisher treated the books the same and listed his full catalog in the front matter, with sections for “As Donald Westlake”, and “as Richard Stark”. The names were ways of telling the reader which sort of novel it was.

    However, with self-publishing, numbers count for building sales rank and getting referrals on Amazon’s sales pages. I think that publishing under a completely different name would be counter productive in terms of product visibility.

    I would suggest different author branding, which might not necessarily involve an entirely new name. Red Clay And Roses is published under the name S. K. Nicholls, you might consider using “Sue Nicholls” or some variant for The Naked Eye series. If you make a cover that is distinctively different from Red Clay, different typography, and so on, you can create a particular feel for the series that is distinct from your first novel, while still keeping all of your work on the same sales page.

    • Thanks Misha. That’s exactly was I was getting at. Now I wish I had put RC&R under Susan Nicholls so I could use S.K. Nicholls for the comic crime caper. I could do that though, keep it all on the same sales page, but with a slightly different name. I used to use other initials when I wrote my name. I only started using my maiden name initials when I published. AS usual, you have been very helpful. It is a lot to consider.

  6. This is something I’ve seriously considered but only in the context of the erotica project that I have on the back burner. Other than that, I think it’s perfectly fine to write in different genres and styles under your real name and I would encourage it. I think it’s better for your long-term success as a writer.

    • RC&R had some risque behavior, but nothing like this crime caper. I would most definitely use a pseudonym for erotica. I have heard horror stories from more than one erotica writer. I am thinking that a name variation would be a good idea. Something that would help readers more easily find what they are searching for. Most definitely a different sort of packaging for the product, as well.

      • A change in packaging would make sense, but I would still worry about changing your name. It’s one thing if you’re a well-known author writing in different genres like John Grisham, but when you’re a little self-published author like you and me, I think part of how we make an impact is through the volume of quality work we have out there. If that work is divided between different names, it becomes more difficult for readers to follow what you’re doing. I know there are people who followed me from one book to another. If I used a different name for Bridgeport than I did for Weed Therapy — because they most definitely are different genres — that reader may not have found the second book.

        • Those two books are both serious and sincere. This is so far removed it’s almost in a different country. I dunno. It’s a lot to think about. Really, for me, it’s like building a fan base from scratch. I sort of have the feeling that folk who gave me four and five stars for RC&R would probably give NA one or two, and those who would give NA four or five, would probably give RC&R a one or two. I can’t really see anyone reading this series because of RC&R, and vice versa.

  7. I admire those who have more than one site, I struggle keeping up with just one! 😀 But I can understand your want for something else, especially with the two books being so different. Make sure to let us know the link if you do start a new one, I have to say I am really looking forward to reading your next book 🙂

    • Thank you. The rocket scientist did the alpha read, and we have edits to do not. We’ll get it going. I have one particular character that needs more work.

  8. It seems to me that when a writer writes different genres, it can be useful to use different names to avoid confusion. For instance, I heard a story about somebody who bought a Judy Blume book for their grandkid and it turned out to be an adult book and very inappropriate. But then Rita Mae Brown is a good example of somebody who has written completely different genres under her own name successfully.

    • I am toying with the idea of using a variation of my name to create a separation of the sort of writing for the reader’s benefit. That’s exactly the thing I would want to avoid. Disappointing someone who like s a specific type of read.

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