Writing romance across age categories- use a pen name?

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Dona St Columb

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Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Say you write both adult and new adult romance (including explicit sex scenes) but also write young adult romance, do you think it's necessary to have separate pen names for each? Or do you think clear categorisation would be enough? I think my main concern would be having everything under one name and having young readers stumble across something with a higher heat-level than they were ready for.

I mean I know I was reading stuff way above my recommended age as a teen, and for the most part anything I didn't really 'get' just went straight over my head, but I do think there's an extra responsibility that comes with writing YA...

Any ideas?
 

Maryn

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I'm no authority, but I'd keep a separate pen name for the YA material because the other material for adult readers contains explicit sex.

You don't have to keep it a secret that they're both you. The names can be similar without being identical (i.e., Dona St. Columb and Donna Columbine), and your website and online presence can be for both. By having separate names, you won't face any outraged parents whose kid likes your YA book so they buy the kid another of your books, only to find explicit sex in it.
 

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We know to trust our guts. Often mine is way, way smarter than my stupid head!
 

LJD

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Personally, I would probably use a second pen name. But I can definitely think of authors who write both under the same name, eg. Sherry Thomas and Juliana Stone.
 

CEtchison

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Sophie Jordan also writes YA in addition to her steamy historical and contemporary romances. But Lorraine Heath uses a different pen name for her young adult.

Sometimes it comes down to the publisher. If an author has a lot of buzz, then they want to capitalize on that.

Funny thing about Sherry Thomas is her name is big enough she can write whatever the hell she wants. When she sent in her first Lady Sherlock book to her publisher, her editor called and asked "What is this? Where's the romance?" to which she replied... "You bought a mystery, not a romance."
 

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