Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writer Wednesday: A Big Announcement


I've been talking about this announcement for a little while now, and I honestly feel the only way to make it is "in person". I understand anyone viewing this at work (I'm smiling at those of you who I know read my blog at work.) won't be able to see this until you go home, and I apologize for that. But I have to do this as close to in person as I can get.

So here's my big announcement, which is actually a confession.

69 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! That is probably the best confession you could possible make. I have been wanting to read the Campus Crush series for a while now! The romances for each book just sound amazing. But now that I think about it, while it is a surprise, it makes perfect sense because I am just as intrigued by your Touch of Death series. Wonderful secret! :D

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    1. The voice in TOD and Campus Crush are kind of similar too. Kelly's an amazing writer/editor.

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    2. Chrys, that means so much to me. Thank you. I was so nervous to make this announcement. I'm glad and touched that everyone is so understanding and supportive. This is such a great community.

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    3. Beth, I couldn't have gotten through all this without you, so thank you. :)

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  2. Congratulations! Your successes are such an inspiration. I'm looking forward to finding out more about your NA series.

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  3. Yay! The cat is out of the bag! Congratulations on all of your books and good luck with everything!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! You've been such a big help over the past six months. Thank you so much!

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  4. *Hugs* :) And I totally understand. Most of the reason I went with T.J. Wooldridge for my middle grade stuff is because of what stuff I already have out under my full name. Go you!! And Yay for the Campus Crush series!

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    1. You know I'm going to look up your other books now. :)

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  5. How is it possible that you've been even busier than I originally thought? I you sure you don't have a clone running around with a notebook and pen? When do you sleep?

    Seriously though, congratulation on another successful series. These days you are made of awesome. :)

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    1. Sarah, I can't tell you how much that means to me coming from you. Thank you!

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  6. My server's so slow I can't watch vids, but I gather from the comments you are revealing yourself as the author of the Campus Crush series. Well, that's cool! :-)

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  7. Yay. You're on fire and majorly prolific. You're amazing writing all these books. I understand about the branding.

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    1. Thank you, Medeia. I'm so glad everyone understands why I kept it a secret. It makes me feel so much better.

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  8. Took a long time to load, but worth it. Far better to go with what you need to write than to stifle it, and using a different name per genre is the only way forward. Well done for going with what's right for you, for your different writing sides and interests, and for being great at both! 'A confession' sounds guilty, which it shouldn't. I'd have called it 'a celebration of success'.

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate that. I hate keeping secrets so it definitely felt like a confession to me. I was very nervous.

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  9. What exciting news!! I can't wait to discover your contemporary side :)

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  10. It isn't unheard of for authors to use pen names when writing a different genre. Congrats, Kelly! I'm not a YA fan, but I'll do contemporary romance for sure. :)

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    1. Yay! Thanks, Diane. I'm happy to know I'm writing something you like to read. :)

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    2. It really depends on many factors when you decide to use a pen name. I
      If I go that route I'd like to be open about it as soon as possible (Taking into account any possible secrecy I may have to employ as in Kelly's case) both to avoid creating a web I can't unweave and for the sake of my personal integrity. I love how Nora Roberts does it. Her readers know both are her, but this delineation between J.D. Robb's romantic suspense and Nora Roberts signature romance is clear and obvious. While I haven't read her "In Death" books as J.D. Robb, I have read books under her name, and marketing wise you know which is which and how they're different.

      I would consider a pen name if I wrote books for adults, which I do have plans to do at some point, as I do have stories I want to write that would be well beyond the middle grade and semi-YA stories I'm doing now in terms of subject matter and writing style. But since I've branded myself as Taurean J. Watkins (Nickname: Taury), that's what I'll go with for now.

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  11. Hi Ashelyn! Love the name, BTW. I also created a pen name for my own NA romance (Kitsy Clare). And you were helpful in convincing me it was a good thing to do.

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    1. :) Yes, you were one of the few who knew my secret early, Catherine. I'm so excited to read your NA romance.

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  12. Wow, Kelly! That's great news! I have heard a lot about the Campus Crush series so I will be looking forward to sharing your books with the older folks within my work and family circles. Again, I'm also looking forward to starting your Touch of Death series and wish you the BEST of luck with both brands. Trust me, I know how hard branding is, and I am going through this myself with my children's work as well as my adult writing. But they both make me happy and that is what matters most, right? Good for you!

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    1. Thanks, Gina! Yes, doing what makes you happy is what's important. We make it work however we can. :)

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  13. Wow, Kelly!! I think you're really brave. :) And I understand why you used a pen name. I'm so happy for your success because you're an amazing author.

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    1. Thank you so much! That means the world to me. :)

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  14. wow - go you! And here I'd thought you were prolific before!!

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    1. lol I'm all over the place with what I write. ;)

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  15. Wow, that's so exciting! It's such an inspiration to watch you grow as an author and I wish you all the luck in the world! You are a writing maching!

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  16. Congratulations! As confessions go, this is a great one. : )
    Marja McGraw

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  17. Ahahahaha, still can't believe it. Pretty good choice of a pen name, too!

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    1. Thanks, Kiersi. You were one of the ones I was dying to tell because you visited Ashelyn's blog and then I'd comment back as Ashelyn. It was so hard not to tell you.

      I'm going to blog about how I chose the name is about two weeks. :)

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  18. Woo hoo! I was always afraid I was going to slip-up and mistakenly refer to Ashelyn as Kelly or Kelly as Ashelyn, LOL! Good for you for being brave and revealing Ashelyn's identity to the world. I salute you! :-)

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    1. Thanks for all your help, Faith. You've been so supportive through all this. I couldn't have done it without you.

      As for slipping up, I did several times and had to delete tweets and posts as fast as I could when I realized I posted under the wrong name. lol

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  19. First off, I'm glad it wasn't bad news (Family emergency, health concern, death, etc) which I was concerned it was before I watched the video, especially at this time of year as the winter holidays will soon be upon us.

    Second, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

    I know keeping those kinds of secrets is hard, but you had professional reasons to wait, it's no different than when you launched the Touch of Death trilogy, right? You announced it on the blog and to your writer friends (Myself included), but you had to wait to slowly fill in details of launch, giveaways, etc.

    This was the same thing, only under a different name, and I'm going through ta similar thing now with my debut middle grade novel, I'd like to share more, but I've nothing to share yet, and while I will do blog posts about the process, I need to be further along to really do it justice, plus I'll need my editor's permission to share certain things, and that's something I do want to talk about soon, pre-release marketing, because much of the marketing info out there now only works when your book's already out, or requires cover images and excerpts from the final book you don't have yet, and don't get me started about pre-release blurbs...

    I'm finding ways to work around it, though. I'm not whining about it. I'm just stating a fact is all.

    To be continued...

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    1. I'm not ashamed. I just hate keeping secrets. I know with publishing you have to wait to share a lot of things. It comes with the industry.

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    2. That's still different than intentionally misleading people, which many authors this summer learned the HARD way, if you know what I mean. You know?

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  20. What you shared in the video above is confirmation of something I've suspected for some time now, that on the one hand, I can see how pen names can avoid the connotation of kids finding a book that's not appropriate for them, since I'm not a parent or teacher I'm slower on the uptake in sorting through this kind of thing. It's not always obvious because while something's not right for one five year old, it is for another, and I sometimes fear we're losing the ability to discern things on an individual basis.

    Clothes aren't truly "One Size Fits All." We know learning styles aren't that way, so why should books and one's taste in books be any different, and I wish we had that discussion more often.

    That said, I think people can be too quick to judge on things like this. I've been guilty of this myself, but I always try to avoid going there, and eight times out of ten, I'm wrong (and happily so) on this specific topic.

    For those who can write in varied markets like you can, this is a way to keep your writing diverse without exposing readers of one area to another, and since you started writing children's books (and that's where you "broke in") there is a concern here, and being a parent yourself I imagine helped you see it, even before your agent mentioned the branding issue to you, right?

    To be Continued...

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    1. Once I started writing New Adult I knew the pen name was necessary. But I wrote some YA first and those didn't have the mature content that would've made the pen name necessary for that reason alone.

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  21. On the other hand, you hear of many authors writing for kids and adults but use the same name for both, but I guess it's because they're either thematically similar but still clear, which demographic is which, etc.

    I think the issue people have with pen names is not really the pen name itself, but how the author uses it, and some use it as a way to manipulate their readers in uncool ways, and while I haven't read the kind of books you've done in the YA and New Adult realm, I know you don't play those games, and I'm sure those who loved your YA trilogy and these NA series feel the same.

    That said, not all kids "Read Up" in the ways we're led to believe as children's authors. Remember, you once brought this to my attention.

    I used to feel ashamed that I still liked stuff for little kids more than some of the teen-oriented stuff when I was a teen (Which wasn't too long ago), and don't get me wrong, as a reader I do NEED stories about my age bracket, too, but when it comes to writing my own stories, they more often make sense for MG and so my preference as a reader goes there naturally as well.

    When I started, I debated on whether I should use a pen name or not, partly that was because I was scared of putting myself out there under my real name, and the fear of being shamed for reading and writing what I loved, animal fantasy for non-preschoolers, etc. Of course, I'd like to attract preschoolers, they're just not the ONLY audience I'd want to attract, hence the duality I try to achieve on my blog and with my writing.

    But also because my real name (Which I do love) has a trillion different pronunciations and I REALLY hate my name being mangled, it may not bother some people, but it bothers me, and hey, agents and editors pass on writers who SPELL their names wrong, why should I be less annoyed when my name's audibly mispronounced? (Understand I'm NOT mad as I type this. I'm just stating a fair fact...)

    If I used a pen name, I could use a name that's less likely mispronounced incorrectly. Like "J.C. Daniels" or something.

    Anyway, I went with my real name both to combat my fear of being public, and I found that using "Taury" as a nickname is a great middle ground to use my real name as an author, but my nickname can be correctly pronounced by everyone.

    Most importantly, I use my real name because I'm proud of it now and that's the name I want to see on the cover of my debut novel, but the nickname will come in handy when I do interviews to better avoid that awkward "How do you say your name?" situation.

    I'm also no longer ashamed to admit what I like and why. You and Terrie (A mutual acquaintance) helped me there more than you know. You and others from our critique group (Before I left) were the first adults who didn't make fun of what I loved writing, and you were the first parents who "Got it" rather than tell me only picture books could do what I tried to, and while you and others in our group shine in that form, I don't, I'm too much of a detail freak at the moment, but I keep trying because not every story can be a novel, and I do read them, but this is just a harder medium for me to access, especially because I'm not an illustrator, if I were I'd feel less constricted because I could draw or paint what I can't do in words in a "simple" way. But art can be sophisticated as you want and still work with simple text.

    But let me tell you, even though simple is harder than it looks, so is sophistication! You certainly know that about me, right Kelly?

    But if you are going to speak my name-

    It's "Tar-E-An" the "u" is silent. LOL...

    Anyway, take care, and keep doing your best, whatever name you write under.

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    1. Thanks, Taurean. I'm glad you are using your name and embracing the stories you love. There's an audience out there for you and I know you'll find it. :)

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  22. That's exciting! I don't know how you do it. Too cool!

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    1. I'm not sure either sometimes. I lose a lot of sleep. lol

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  23. Yay! You are even more writer heroine to me now. LOL :) You know what I mean by that. Thrilled you are finding so much success and not letting the industry dictate to Kelly; but you to it!

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    1. Aw, thanks! I'm trying to find every way possible to do what I love.

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  24. Kelly!!!! That's so cool!!! I sure like that Ashelyn... I've been chatting with her online . I'm thrilled to find out that one of my favorite authors is another one of my favorite authors and I'm not a bit surprised. Although I'm wildly envious at that incredible productivity! You are a force of nature, my friend.

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    1. You were another person I was dying to tell. It was tough to talk to you as Ashelyn since you already knew me as Kelly. Thanks for the kind words and for being supportive. I really appreciate it.

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  25. Gah! This stinks! My computer(at home) won't play videos, so I'm going to have to watch this at the in-laws tomorrow. And I even averted my eyes as I scrolled to the bottom so the surprise wouldn't be spoiled by any comments. *sad face*

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  26. Best of luck with contemporary romance as well! Way to go, writing so much!

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  27. Oh wow! That is insane ... Congratulations Kelly on branching out into New Adult, and I too would never have thought that author branding would be such a big issue, but due to your target audience, it actually makes a lot of sense.

    Best of luck on your new journey!

    Oh, and it was really nice to see and hear you in 'real life' it's easy to forget that there are real people behind our blogs:)

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    1. Thanks.

      Yes, it is nice to see and hear people, especially after we get to know them through our blogs.

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  28. Congratulations! You are always full of surprises! I have heard a lot about the Campus Crush series! How exciting. :) What a fun confession. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I'm glad word about the series is getting around. :)

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  29. Congratulations, Kelly. Good luck with this series too.

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