I’m often asked why and how I write several different genres and under several different names. Good question!!
I write romances as Jennifer Ashley and Allyson James. Jennifer Ashley writes historical and paranormal romances–primarily. Allyson James is a little more varied–she writes erotic romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy.
I have another pseudonym, Ashley Gardner, who writes mysteries (at this point historical mysteries, but who knows what else she’ll do?)
As for why:
I picked up different names at various stages in my career because 1) I wrote for different publishers, and 2) it’s a good idea to use a pen name if you write genres that have very different readers; for example, historical mystery and erotic romance.
Readers want a good idea what kind of a story they’re going to get when they pick up a book with your name on it. If you give a sweet historical loving reader a hard-core paranormal erotic romance (or vice versa), they’re going to be understandably annoyed and perhaps not trust you again. Likewise, readers who might like lush historical romances might not want any pesky urban fantasy, thank you very much.
Why different genres?
Because I love so many different things! I started out as a historical romance author, but at the same time I was writing historical mysteries. Both got published at about the same time (after years and years of rejection, so don’t think that was an easy feat).
I write what I love, but my tastes encompass historical romance (which I adore), paranormal romance, and urban fantasy (I read a ton of fantasy and scifi in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, plus the classics). But then I love mysteries, which these days is my number one choice when I’m reading for pleasure.
I got into writing erotic romance after I’d already started publishing romance. My romances tend to be on the steamy side, so I thought I’d try my hand at writing genuine erotic romance. I combined that with wanting to write scifi romance, and the Tales of the Shareem series (by Allyson James) was born.
Now the question, how do I write so many?
Again, good question! I’m not sure I have an answer. When I love what I’m writing I just get into it and shut out the world. If I’m writing historical romance, I don’t worry about the paranormal–no shifters or dragons creep in.
When I’m writing paranormal romance set in contemporary times, I’m very into the contemporary world where magic is real. I completely believe in that world, and therefore I can write it. When I write the mysteries, it’s gritty realism–my characters don’t even think about magic and the supernatural.
So I can write back and forth because I change my mindset. I can get into each world and totally believe its rules–even if those rules are different from another world’s rules. Just as I can read a variety of stories, I write them too.
Also, switching back and forth between genres keeps my writing fresh. I don’t become stale on the rules of magic or Victorian fashion. When I’m burned out on urban fantasy, I can switch to hot shape-shifters or hot Scottish men in kilts.
What would I like to write that I haven’t tried?
Contemporary romance (which I love to read), romantic suspense (combining mysteries and romance–great!), and contemporary mysteries, possibly with a female police officer protagonist.
I’ve been lucky that my editors and publishers let me get away with my split personality writing habits. Long may that continue!
Thanks for hosting me on your blog! I’m thrilled that Pride Mates, book 1 of the Shifters Unbound series is re-releasing!
To most, they are animals even when in human form. They are to be collared and kept on the fringes of society, scorned because they are feared, hated for their extraordinary powers. And attorney Kim Fraser has to go right into the heart of their lair.
It s her job to defend those in need. But there s absolutely nothing defenseless about Liam Morrissey. His soft Irish lilt and feline grace can t disguise his sheer strength. Nor can the silver chain at his throat, designed to control the aggression of his kind, completely reassure her that this man has been tamed.
Yet when a feral shifter begins to stalk them both, Liam is the only one she trusts with her life. She ll let him claim her for her protection, for her pride, and for a passion that knows no bounds.
*Wow, I’m so excited Jennifer Ashley made it here today! I absolutely fell in love with this series and can’t wait to read the next one, Primal Bonds. A big thank you to Berkley Publishing who are graciously providing a print copy of Pride Mates for a giveaway! Contest open to US only. I will leave the contest open until July 9th and announce the winner on the 10th. To enter simply leave a comment and also a way for my to contact you if you win. Stop back tomorrow to read my review of Pride Mates!*