>There’s a mystery behind the pen name. Once upon a time they never mattered to me. I would find out my favorite author (Amanda Quick for instance) was actually a pen name and I wouldn’t even bat an eye.

Then I became a writer and began to question the WHY behind having a pen name. There has to be a reason. There is always a reason for the creation of a pen name. But what? Many agents will caution authors on creating a new persona. There must be a reason behind the decision.

Some people want/need to hide. And that makes sense. For some, their ‘real’ life and their writing doesn’t always mix. A kindergarten teacher writing erotic romance might want to keep that part of her secret.

But for others it might be as simple as they write in various genres and they don’t want to confuse their readers. A non-fiction health writer may decide to start writing a foodie romance – a pen name might be a good idea. Or a romance writer who also writes children’s novels, non-fiction and even thrillers should think about creating separate persona’s for each genre. Why? They’ve already created a brand in one genre and it would only confuse their reader to all of a sudden pick up a different genre. Plus … what if the person who loves romance sees a thriller by their favorite author, decides to read it and realize they hate it. Do you think they’ll buy the next new romance release as quickly as the last time?

Sometimes creating a pen name is a good idea.

I have one. I wrote an erotic romance that will be coming out with Liquid Silver Books. But, in my ‘previous’ life, I was also a pastors wife. I’m not trying to hide who I am, in fact, I’m quite proud of my story. But, I am conscious of the relationships created throughout the years and I realize that a lot of those people will have a hard time with this genre. And that’s okay. By creating my pen name, or my new persona for this genre creates two things for me.

1. Those who love me as Steena but can not stand erotic romance then don’t have to feel guilty or even worried that one day they will come across my novel online or in a book store and wonder if they should read it or not.

2. It allows me a freedom to create a new brand set apart from the commercial fiction that I also write.

I’m excited about this new journey I’m taking. My goal was to be published and this is me reaching my goal. I’m all about being real, so I won’t be hiding who I am. Once I get my cover and have more information, I’ll be posting it on here. I’ll even have a page just for Anya Winter (my pen name). But until then, if you are interested in this genre or in my new persona, feel free to follow me on twitter at @AnyaWinter or on a blog where I post once a week called Chocolate & Spice.  You can even find a post about inspiration at The Dirty Birdies where I talk about where my inspiration for The Master (my novella) came from.