Hiddey-Ho peeps! J Monkeys here. I’m in a bit of a kerfluffle and I’m counting on you good people to help me out. I imagine that it will come as no surprise to you that J Monkeys is a nom de plume. It’s a play on my real name, and since I’ve been writing children’s stuff, I thought that the monkey thing would be memorable to my kiddie audience.
But now, I’m working on a romance for adults and my first thought was to publish (or seek publication) under a different name. Suze chucked a FABULOUS idea my way (this secret idea may be unveiled at a future date) which has me thinking about writing this new work under the J Monkeys name. But would women buy a romance written by someone with a silly name?
My romance is one of those Fade-to-Black style popular these days. I’m not writing graphic love scenes…that’s not my forte, and I often skip over them these days when reading. Hey, I’ve been married more than 10 years. Love scenes aren’t new…ya know what I’m sayin’? So the material, while adult, isn’t something that would be a betrayal of my younger audience.
Then, there’s the Judy Blume controversy. I’m a huge Judy Blume fan, loved her stuff when I was a kid. But I think that a lot of parents knew her as a children’s author, so when she wrote Forever and Wifey, these parents assumed that the material was appropriate for their 5th and 6th graders. In case you never read those, take it from a former 5th grader, the love scenes in Forever were quite graphic, if a bit awkward. (They were supposed to be awkward…) Those books were meant for a high school audience, not kids still in elementary school. But the world has changed in the decades since Ms. Blume’s books came out. Kids have access to so much more than my generation ever did. (Thank you Mr. Internet.) Parents probably know they need to be a bit more involved in evaluating what their kids see, more so today than back in the 80’s.
Today’s question: Here’s my two-fold dilemma: 1-Would you buy a romance by someone with a silly name? 2-Do I have a responsibility to the adults who buy my books, to maintain my kid-friendly persona so that they can buy J Monkeys’ books knowing that they are age appropriate?
Given all the social media work etc that agents/publisher are looking for before that debut book even comes out these days, maintaining two personas may be more than I can handle.