Hackers 1 CoverI e-published my first book under a pen name the other week. I’m not sure why, but it felt like a big deal to me. I think it is because I gave it so much thought before I did it.

The main reason for doing so was because most of my writing this century has been either history or historical fiction, which has all been published under my real name, James Rada Jr. However, if you look at my bibliography, you’ll see a few titles that just don’t fit in—a Christmas story, a couple fantasies, and a young adult novel.

So when I completed my latest novel, which was what I plan on being the first in a series and started thinking about another young adult series, I started thinking that the covers just wouldn’t look at home on my current web page.

Then I noticed that an acquaintance of mine, Jeffrey Savage, not publishes his young adult fantasies under J. Scott Savage while his mysteries are still by Jeffrey Savage.

I liked this approach. It doesn’t try to hide who the author is, it simply uses the author’s name as a brand name so that a reader will be able to quickly tell whether Jeff’s books are fantasy or mystery.

I created my first pen name, J. R. Rada, to do the same thing. I’ll use this name to publish any young adult or fantasy novels I’ve got in mind. The trick now is that I have to create a whole different identity for this pen name, such as Facebook page, Twitter account, web site, etc. Anyone interested in reading my historical fiction will be able to find links to my current sites on the new pages.

The discouraging thing is that I’ve started to build some momentum using my familiar name and this feels like I’m starting from scratch. Hopefully, it will all be worth it in the end.