Pseudonyms, or pen names, have a long history in publishing, especially for women. In the past, women writers often assumed a male name to give their books credibility with editors and readers skeptical of a female pen: Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte), George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). I can think of only one case when a woman writer with a male-sounding first name switched to one that was more feminine: Howard Allen O'Brien publishes as Anne Rice.
Sometimes women writers choose a pen name to separate themselves from their husbands and families, and sometimes, too, a pen name works because it's shorter and easier to remember than the real name: the single-named Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.) Modern writers often choose a second name to signal readers that they're writing a different kind of book Nora Roberts writes traditional romance/women's fiction; as J.D. Robb, she writes futuristic suspense. I'm sure you can think of more examples - once you start, it's hard to stop.
All of which is a roundabout way of explaining that this summer I'll be launching an exciting new series of historical romances under a new name: Isabella Bradford. Scheduled for release at the end of July, When You Wish Upon a Duke is the first of three books (published by Ballantine/Random House) following the romantic escapades of the irrepressible Wylder sisters – escapades that make them the talk of Georgian London, and a passionate challenge to the trio of dukes who fall in love with them. You won't have long to wait for the next book in the series, either. When the Duchess Says Yes will be released in late September, and When the Duke Found Love in late November.
I'll be writing more here on the blog about the historical background to the books over the coming months (as well as launching an Isabella Bradford website), but in the meantime, I'll be adding Isabella's name to my posts here as well. A bit awkward, I know, but then we Geminis are accustomed to having multiple identities.
What about my historical novels written as Susan Holloway Scott? For now, I'm taking a short break from historical fiction to focus on Isabella Bradford. But don't be surprised if some historical story suddenly bubbles up from my imagination and research to become a new book.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.