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Do you need different pen names for erotica and romance?

694 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  SusanCht
I currently use a pen name for erotica. But sometimes I wonder if a second pen name is needed strictly for romance (and erotic romance). I know that a happy ending is unnecessary for erotica, but it (along with H-F-N) is definitely required for romance. I also know that erotica specializes in sexual journeys, while romance relies mostly on plot and character development, and erotic romance is a mixture of both. If I use the same pen name for erotica and romance/erotic romance, will readers be put off by this particular difference? Should I just use the same pen name and just make sure that readers know which genre is which?
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i would use two pen names. However i have spotted some authors who use one name and write both erotica and romance.
The thing is romance and erotica authors are two different audiences. If you write very steamy romance maybe you could get away with using the same name for erotica.
I just wouldn't mix genres under one name.

Things i'd consider -

Would i be happy for my romance readers to know i write these erotic stories
Would i be happy for my family/friends to know i write erotica too
Would it affect my brand, if i became a huge bestselling erotica author or romance author would i want the two connected.

My rule of thumb is 1) Would putting your real name in some way conflict with any other aspect of your life, especially professional and, 2) Would your mother want her friends to know what you're writing without her telling them?

I write what the RWA calls "Sexy Romance" where the steamy sex scenes further character development and, therefore, the story. However, I am also a hypnotherapist and this is not something any of my clients (especially the ones I work with on relationship, sexual, or traumatic issues) should read knowing it's me. So I use a pseudonym.

If I wrote erotica, I'd definitely go with a pseudonym. That has less to do with not wanting people to know who I am than how much fun it is to come up with an erotica author name, LOL.

Personally, I'm using a pen name for erotica and comedy-drama because I know that I will be writing in multiple genres in the future: science fiction, YA science fiction, YA medieval fantasy, horror, political thriller, etc. I might use my real name ten or twenty years later if I grow weary of a private life...which I doubt will happen.

Anyway, I guess I could use my erotica pen name for romance/erotic romance, as long as the sexual content remains steamy and descriptive.

But here's another question, what about the subject matter? My work is contemporary, but these are mostly human dramas. I'm planning on writing erotic political thrillers and crime dramas. Will readers be put off by what goes on in urban jungles and criminal underworlds if I've previously written stories about ordinary people? Would I definitely need to use another pseudonym?
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I hate the fact that the official designations are:
1. Romance
2. Erotic Romance
3. Erotica

The Romance Writers of America have a category called Sexy Romance which what I write -- and it sounds like you do too. That's when the sex isn't there just for titillation's sake, it furthers the plot and, most importantly, character/relationship development.

It really should be a generally recognize genre.
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