Obviously Clancy Nacht is a nom de plume, chosen for personal as well as professional purposes, but it’s what I chose to encompass my “professional writing.” Charlotte was my fandom writing name and though I’d considered using it moving forward (and lamented at times that I didn’t because I was basically starting over) there seemed to be compelling arguments for splitting the two and I’d gone with it.
In a new wrinkle, another very popular m/m author has suggested that sales have improved on re-release of their m/f work under a different name. It’s not shady, they’re very open that it’s the same person and the name change was simply for branding purposes, but I guess for me, that’s the interesting part. Branding purposes. Author as brand.
As Charlotte, I wrote WAFF, angst, horror, squick, whatever. I didn’t really care about a brand, I wasn’t selling anything. I write what I feel like and I never thought to segment the identities. Or did I? I’d toyed with writing YA and recognized the need for a different identity because you don’t necessarily want to cross-pollinate those audiences until they’re old enough to Google. Or something. I dunno. I didn’t write anything YA, so besides trying to be the Amelia Bedelia of author names (I was playing with Charlotte Scarlett) I didn’t do much.
Now, spoiler alert for book 3 after Double Black (Black Gold 2), but I was going to include characters from my m/f A Model Boyfriend in the story. I mean, the guys are in NY, Andy and Brandon are there, why not? I like when authors sort of tie their worlds together, personally. But in that case, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to rebrand my m/f as another author name.
But. I do write some horror. Erotic horror, usually, but horror it is. I’ve completed a short story and I really love it. The problem is, it’s inspired by Hannibal and that, uh, shows. Clancy Nacht is sort of a goth/horror name and I’ve released horror under this name, but I dunno. Is it worth busting out a whole new name? With a full-time job and lots of writing, I barely keep up with this second identity. But I can’t ignore that at GRL people get whiplash going from the writing I do with Thursday Euclid and how sunny that can be to my solo work which…can be sunny but can be really dark.
For me, an author is a brand to an extent. I expect good writing out of them though I don’t know that I’ve expected that they stay in one genre. But I wonder if it damages my brand to have someone come in after reading Stay to wonder, “what the shit, Prozac?” after Black Gold. Or vice versa. I hate thinking of myself as a brand, though. I am an author. I have big thoughts that I often transfer into people/words/scenarios that I’m trying to work out. Part of me already feels segmented ala Billy/Goldie and I was hoping that as I moved towards solvency as a writer alone that I could merge that. This sounds like more segmentation and I’m not entirely sure that will benefit me as a person, though it may well work for me as a writer.
Just what’s on my mind today. I’m making no sudden moves.