Saturday, January 28, 2012
WAY outside the lines
Well, maybe it's not my first, but my "first." I wrote adult novels before I wrote YA novels. They just didn't get published. My dream career was to have both YA and adult novels published and to bop back and forth between them. I had both an adult novel and a YA novel out on submission in 2005. The YA novel sold, the adult novel didn't, and it's taken another seven years to get the adult half of my career off the ground.
There was never any question of what name I would use to publish my adult novels. They were purchased by the division of Simon & Schuster that also publishes my darker YA novels, and since those have been successful, it was assumed I would use the same name. I have no problem with that.
I do distinctly remember, however, that when I was a 12-year-old rabid Judy Blume fan, I was horrified to learn that she had written an adult novel and that it was DIRTY. I felt betrayed.
Looking back at this now, I am mad at 12-year-old me and defensive of Judy Blume. This is pretty confusing.
I am not changing my pen name. I have enough trouble tweeting as @JenniferEchols. If I had to tweet and Facebook and blog under another name too, my head would explode. But I do wonder whether I will encounter any resistance to the adult half of my career from my YA readers.
There are plenty of precedents for adult authors starting to write YA and keeping the same name or changing their name only slightly: Gena Showalter, Nicole/Niki Burnham. Then there's YA author Trinity Faegan, who first won awards and made lots of friends as adult author Stephanie Faegan and told me she was having some trouble being recognized as her alter-ego, at least initially. But offhand, I can't think of any other authors who moved from YA to adult.
If you're a YA reader, all you all offended that I'm moving over to the dark side? And if you're a YA writer, would you have kept your name?