Pen Names…So who am I really?

Many authors have pen names and I am sure that everyone has their own special reason. I use them for three reasons. One, because I write more than one genre and I don’t want anyone who is a fan of my Contemporary Romance (Kelly Rae) to be offended should they pick up one of my Adult Contemporary Romances (Jocelyn Bell), that includes my dad who only needs to know about the less steamy books! 🙂 Second, I chose to not use my last name, because I didn’t want my ex-husband to get a sliver of credit for my words, my work. It sounds less rational as I write it down, but it’s the truth! I wanted my novels to be all mine, and the only two names that are all mine are my first and middle. So, Kelly Rae was the clear choice. And last, I chose to name my alter ego Jocelyn Bell, which is so far removed from my actual name, because she is really another whole side of me. As a writer I can be anything I want, write about anything I want, BE whomever I want. What power?

When I am writing books like, What If… I am the hopeless romantic, mushy, endless love sort of woman. But I cannot sustain this raw, sometimes overwhelming emotion all the time. There are days I am cynical or a real non believer in happily-ever-afters and more of a happy for now, sort of girl. On these days I prefer to write about lust, not love. Or work on romances that are meant to be grand and wonderful, but short-lived.

Not every couple is meant for happily ever after. On those occasions Jocelyn Bell gets to come out and play and write novellas like the Voyeur Series, a three-part novella series about finding the person that fits for right now and doesn’t focus so much on the ever and ever part. In the first novella Dare Me , a recently divorced Gina finds that her neighbor next door is the perfect escape from thinking about the loser husband who left her for a barista. In Want Me, which will be out December 18th, Angie is trying to avoid good-looking charming men and take her mother’s advice to find a mediocre looking man, because they don’t cheat. The only problem, her new roommate is fire and sweetness all rolled into one. What’s a girl to do….beg him to leave or beg him to stay?

I love getting to be all the sides of myself as I write a new story. In my computer sit at least five different genres of started stories, on some I will write The End and others will just sit. But, either way for the moments that I spent writing a bit on each one, I got to be exactly who I am, in that moment. It’s some pretty powerful stuff to get to express all of who you are in your work. And sometimes, they are nothing of me and all of my imagination. Which is just as much fun and probably why there are so many people who want to be actors in this world. The opportunity to be all that you are and nothing of who you are at the same time.

Writing is simply the best!

For those of you who also enjoy a steamier read from time to time, Dare Me is currently available on Amazon, just click here to purchase or preview if you like. I am also really excited to unveil a new cover for Dare Me, which you are seeing here for the first time. It won’t be available on Amazon until next week. I am so excited to share it with you guys first.


There will be an excerpt from Want Me at the end and be ready for more of the series on 12/18/2012!!

Thanks for stopping in today and Be Blessed,
Kelly Rae

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11 Responses to Pen Names…So who am I really?

  1. E. Ayers says:

    Wow, Kelly. Actually, I know there’s a few out here who write both sides of romance with different names. I just write as me. Some stories are sweeter than others and I’ve tried to make that obvious. But since nothing I write is really that hot, I haven’t worried about it. Just open a few women’s magazines and read the articles. That would have had Playboy banned and burned to the ground when I was growing up.

    I think, I’m just a romanticist. I completely believe in true love and magic of it. Maybe it’s not a common as it should be, and I’m not sure why. Maybe as women get stronger, they want their men to be stronger. Then they discover these alpha males are too overbearing and women don’t like it. I think marriage is a team situation. So it’s not just finding love, it’s finding a teammate so that you both enhance each others’ life.


  2. Jill James says:

    Kelly, love your ‘why a pen name’ story. I use a pen name because my real name was taken by a published romance author. So my husband helped me come up with mine. I might try erotic romance in the future and I would use a pen name for that too so as not to be confused with Jill James stuff.


    • Oh Jill, it’s so much fun. When I get stuck writing my full length romance pieces I’ll work on one of these little novellas and it completely revives my creative mode! I like being able to separate it, please do let me know if you create a new pen name and write a new genre. I’ll be sure to buy and read 🙂


  3. Janet says:

    I find this very interesting. I’ve always wondered why writers use different names and to see your reasoning is interesting. I had no idea you wrote other books. Funny thing is I downloaded Dare Me without knowing you were the writer, the sad thing is I haven’t made time to read it yet. I will definately will make time now!


    • Well I sure hope you enjoy the read, it was so much fun to write! Dare Me was my first attempt, so I think Want Me is even better. Well, I hope it’s better at least, the goal is to improve with each story 🙂


  4. Susan says:

    What a cover! Love it.


  5. JoanReeves says:

    Good post, Kelly. Pen names are fascinating. I’ve blogged about this before mainly because there are some really interesting stories behind the pen name. The new cover is startling. Let us know if sales jump with the new cover. *g*


  6. leighmorgan1 says:

    Wow! The cover of Dare Me is beautiful and erotic. Great post!


    • Thank you, my cover designer is Steena Holmes. She is also a best selling author and contributor to The Authors Red Room. She is AMAZING! I befriended her from IRInk, what a great group of people I have found to be in my life from one little writers group. 🙂


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