The Problem with Pen Names

I have three, no scratch that four, blogs for my various pen names.  I have two twitter accounts.  I have a personal FB page and two FB author pages.  I have ten email addresses related to my writing and six user profiles across three writing forums.  All because I have too many pen names.  (Which won’t easily combine so it is what it is.)

Which makes posting any sort of news problematic.  Do I post it on my personal FB page for writers and other friends who know me to see?  Do I post it on the blog for that particular pen name?  Or on one of the forums I frequent? Do I tweet it to the world?

What do I share and where?

If I’m in a promo (and I’m in a couple this month) do I just share the promo on the pages for that pen name?  Or maybe my personal page as well as the ones for that pen name?

It all gets very confusing very fast.

And if I share the same piece of good news across author names then what’s the point of having those different author names because an astute observer could just tie them together?  After all, some of the purpose behind the pen names is just marketing categories, but not all of it.

Which is all to say I’ve had a couple pieces of good writer news today and was at a loss for where to share it.  One ended up on my personal FB page because it’s broad writerly news not tied to one specific name and of general interest to my friends and not something I could broadcast publicly under any specific pen name although I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  The other ended up posted in a writers’ group I’m part of on FB because it was one of those things that only fellow writers would care about. (I just sold my 50th paperback of the month which is an awesome little achievement for me but irrelevant to pretty much everyone but me.)

Someday I will hit a point in my career where keeping separate pen names simply won’t work.  Someone will out the ones they know or I’ll need to make public appearances or someone with way too much time on their hands will connect the dots.

That day will be both a relief and an annoyance.  Until then I get to feel like I have twenty fractured identities, none of which fit together well…

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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