Getting to Know You: The RMFW Q&A Project #5

The Getting to Know You Project is intended to introduce RMFW members with short responses to three questions, a photo, and a few social media links if available. If you would like to participate in the project for future months, please email Pat Stoltey at blog@rmfw.org

Theresa Alan

Website: http://www.theresaalan.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Theresa_Author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresa.alan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/115314.Theresa_Alan

2016_Theresa Alan1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

All of my published books are comedic women’s fiction. I’m working on a new series that is also comedic women’s fiction, but I’m also trying a book that’s darker, more in the vein of The Girl on the Train. I write in the mornings because that’s when my brain is most highly caffeinated. These days I write from home, although coffee shops are good choices, too. Why I write? It’s an addiction. I wrote my first book at the age of nine (I still have it) and have been writing fiction and nonfiction ever since. I’ve also been keeping a journal since the age of nine, and it’s a much cheaper form of therapy than actual therapy, plus, it’s nice having help remembering different times in my life—memory can be tricky. I’d forgotten something hilarious that had happened to me my freshman year in college; I put the scene in my first novel, Who You Know, and that true-from-my-life scene was far and away the most commented on in the fan mail I received.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

My sister is an experienced improv comedian, and one time in New York City we went to the Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv and sketch place founded, in part, by Amy Poehler. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey happened to drop by the night we went. We could have reached out and touched them both. As women who write comedy, it was a thrill to see two of the best comedic writers in the world perform two feet away from us.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

It’s a four-way tie between reading, movies, going to see live comedy, and, of course, hiking (I live in Colorado, so there is a law about loving to hike).

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Thea Hutcheson

Website: http://theahutcheson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thea.hutcheson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Theah1771

2016_Thea Hutcheson1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write all over the board--SF, fantasy, romance, erotica, New Adult, and Crime fiction. I write in all the nooks and crannies of my life. Lately, I have been hard pressed to back myself into a corner, but I have been reasonably successful, and I keep trying.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I work events--Operations Manager at various Chocolate Festivals around Colorado, The Athena Festival, and the Denver Modernism Show; and Competition Director for Denver County Fair.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Lately, the thing that gives me the most pleasure (and fright) is taking road trips in Stanley (a 1941 Studebaker truck) and Big Jim (a 1955 GMC one ton utility truck) with my long-time partner, Randy Merrick, and camping in our vintage trailer, Olive. I get pleasure because we see cool places all over our great country, and our adventures and the sights we see end up in stories, which makes them all tax deductible. But being on the road can be frightening. People don't realize trailers and their tow vehicles have mass. They can't stop on a dime and that space they made between them and the car ahead of them is to insure they can slow down reasonably well. If you jump in there, and then traffic slows, it is heart wrenching sometimes to have to avoid an accident.

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Bernadette Marie

Website: http://bernadettemarie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/writesromance
5 Prince Publishing: http://5princebooks.com/

2016_Bernadette Marie1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write HEA Contemporary Romance because I, as a reader, want to walk away from books feeling happy that I invested my time in a romance where everything was good in the end. I write all the time! I have a laptop and will travel. There is no set schedule for me. When I feel it, I do it. Luckily, I feel it all the time. I can usually write a book from start to finish in two months.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I have a second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. I started martial arts with my older kids, and the others joined us when they each turned 3. After a 3 1/2 year hiatus, I have just recently begun training again and I now feel whole.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Disneyland! Yep, I crave it. Dream it. It's like my drug, and the best part is I can take my family of 7 and no matter what age, we all turn into children. (Yes, I also blog about it on my parenting blog. Writers have to write about everything.)

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Yvonne Montgomery

Website/Blog: https://yvonnemontgomery.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KIXKIU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvonnemontgomerywriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorYvonneM

2016_Yvonne Montgomery1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I'm currently writing paranormal mysteries because I love working on stories in which the supernatural and reality bump up against each other. I tend to write from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in my study on the 3rd floor of our house. My partner is a Mac computer named Dimmsdale, and the printer is Hester Prynt.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

One fun thing few RMFW members know about me is that I love cheesy horror movies. I introduced my grandkids to Godzilla, a noble achievement.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

I have two favorite non-writing activities that give me great joy: reading and gardening. However, I don't enjoy reading about gardening.

Many thanks to Theresa, Thea, Bernadette, and Yvonne for volunteering for the Getting to Know You Project. If you'd like to participate in future GTKY posts, please email me at blog@rmfw.org

How and Why Would You Choose a Pseudonym?

By Patricia Stoltey

A couple of weeks ago, a reader of this blog contacted us to ask how she could go about selecting a pseudonym—one she could live with forever without regrets.

We thought that was a pretty good question, so I asked three writers in different genres how they chose their pen names.

 

Wendy Howard, our website goddess, has a plan.

“I'll be publishing under 3 names eventually: W.J. Howard  for a mix of YA and adult, Wendy Spurlin for kids and Ruby Blythe for naughty sci fi.

I started with W. J. Howard years ago when I was mainly writing horror. Reason being, back then, women weren't taken seriously as horror writers. That's certainly changing. I think we're more gruesome than men and don't hold back.

Wendy Spurlin is my maiden name so that was easy to settle on, and Ruby Blythe took me forever to think up because you have to come up with something sexy and mysterious and consider domain names and competition on internet searches. Yeah, it's not so easy a thing to settle on.”

 

Romance writer Thea Hutcheson also writes sexy adult romance as Theda Hudson,  so she wanted to help readers easily distinguish between the two genres.

“In the mid-eighties, I found myself unemployed, and in the course of scouring the want ads for jobs, I found an interesting ad under a general office category. The ad wanted someone for general office work -- answering phones and performing paperwork, but was worded in an intriguing way. I called the number listed and it turned out it was for the Rocky Mountain Oyster, a local singles rag that was famous for personal ads. I applied and got the job.

We all used a pseudonym to work under to protect our identities. I chose Theda because I had a friend by that name so I would recognize it easily and it's similar to Thea, and Hudson because it is enough like Hutcheson to sound familiar. I had lots of fun adventures working for that company, and, when it came time to brand my erotica, Theda was ready and willing to jump into the fun.”

 

Mystery writer Cricket McRae  has several series going under different pseudonyms plus a standalone novel. I knew her for quite awhile before I figured out she had a real name, too. She writes the home crafting mysteries as Cricket McRae, the magical bakery mysteries as Bailey Cates, her standalone as K.C. McRae

“Pen names should be memorable. A reader might not recall a particular book title, but if they can remember the author they can easily access all the books published under that name. However, memorable doesn’t necessarily mean odd. I personally tend to gravitate toward androgynous names. Someone who writes frothy romances might opt for a frothy, romantic name. A writer of hardboiled street stories might choose a pseudonym to reflect that particular sensibility.

Whatever you decide on, it’s important that the name feels like it really could be yours, that it’s something you identify with. Other people are going to expect you to answer to it, after all. Bailey is my grandmother’s maiden name, my father’s middle name, and I know two people who are named Bailey – one man and one woman. Cates is a play on another family name and rolls easily off the tongue after “Bailey.”

My final tests? Say the name fast twenty-five times. It should be relatively easy. Then write it on a piece of paper like a teenaged girl experimenting with the last name of her current crush. It should feel good to write as well. After all, you could be signing an awful lot of title pages with that name!"

 

If you’re a writer, do you use a pen name? If so, how did you choose it (or them)?

If you’re a reader, do you prefer a writer use pen names for different genres?