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Are You Thinking About a Change?

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Are You Thinking About a Change?


Are You Thinking About a Change?


 One of the basic rules for new authors is to stick to your genre. 

That’s good advice. When we’re just breaking into publishing there is very little that is more important than building a relationship of trust between you and your readers. Establishing your “brand” and sticking to it is key to acquiring a loyal readership.

Are You Thinking About a Change?

As we publish more stories, we can start broadening our brand. Many authors are able to wiggle to the right a bit or wiggle to the left and publish books that are almost like the stories their readers expect. They’re staying true to their brand, though. A Ruthy book is still a Ruthy book. A Mary Connealy book is still a Mary Connealy book. Erica’s new regency romance series is still all Erica.

We love that, don’t we? We know what to expect from our favorite authors. It’s like going to our stand-by restaurant and ordering something we’ve never tried before. We can do that because we trust the source. We’re pretty sure we’ll enjoy something new from them.


But what if an author wants to completely change genres?

Let’s explore this a bit.

All but two of the twelve books (soon to be thirteen) that I’ve published have been in the genre niche of Amish Historical Romance.

One of the two exceptions was “A Home for His Family,” but it didn’t wiggle too far away from my original niche – it was still Historical Romance. I call that a one-degree difference.

Are You Thinking About a Change?
This book is available here!


In the novella that was published in a collection by Bethany House in 2019, “An Amish Christmas Recipe Box,” I went one degree in a different direction, to Contemporary Amish Romance.

Are You Thinking About a Change?
This story is available here!
 
My readers followed me to those side-steps, but Amish story fans are a little different than other fans in that their loyalty tends to follow the genre rather than the author. So if I try to go very far afield, I risk losing them.

For example, what if I tried a story with a two-degree difference? Instead of Amish Historical Romance, I wrote Contemporary Western Romance? Do you see the two degrees?

If I did that, I would need to market my new story heavily because I’m not sure all my readers would follow me. Some would. After all, I would still be writing for the Christian market, and I would still be writing Romance.

But what if I took a completely different track?

Right now, I’m working on a Cozy Mystery aimed at the secular market.

What??? No Amish! No Romance! No Historical!

Doing something like that takes a LOT of deep thought and planning, and even more prayer.

Are You Thinking About a Change?

I had to ask myself a big question: How committed am I to this change?

When the idea first hit me a couple years ago, it sounded like fun. I’m a true Agatha Christie fan, both in print and on video. Some of my favorite authors are Dorothy Sayers and Arthur Conan Doyle. My favorite television shows include Murdoch Mysteries, Monk, and Midsomer Murders. I love picking up a new cozy mystery and curling up with it for an evening or two. Maybe I could try writing one!

That fun idea turned into an obsession. I’ve researched how to write mysteries, and cozies in particular. I’ve read every new title I could get my hands on. I even started planning my own cozy mystery series.

That’s when I knew I was hooked. Somehow, some-when, I would write this story.

But was I committed to starting my career over from scratch? That’s a scary proposition.

Are You Thinking About a Change?


Then I realized I wasn’t going to start MY career over. Jan Drexler would still write Amish Romances. Someone else was going to be the cozy mystery writer…I would need to adopt a pen name for this new genre.

Do you see how I skirted the problem of trying to take my readers with me from one genre to the next? My Amish romance readers will still be happy with my installments of Amish stories, either contemporary or historical. (I love those readers and don’t want to risk losing them!)

And this other person – I haven’t settled on a pen name yet – will be my alter-ego, happily murdering people in light-hearted stories.

By the way, that is the very weird thing about cozy mysteries – they are light-hearted stories with murder on the side.

Are You Thinking About a Change?


So, how do I market this new author?

First, I need a pen name (still in progress.)

Then a new website, Facebook page, Goodreads page, Amazon page, Bookbub… you’ve got it. All the marketing tools need to be re-done for this new author name.

Finally, a new marketing strategy. Breaking into the secular market is different than the homey world of Inspirational publishing I’ve enjoyed for the past nine years. I’ll have to learn the ropes in this sometimes cold, sometimes friendly world of secular publishing.


But before all that can even start, I must finish writing the first book.

And no, I’m not going to tell you who-done-it.

Are You Thinking About a Change?


So, I have to ask myself the big question again – how committed am I to taking on a new genre?

I knew I was going to follow the first story to the end when a plotting tangle kept me awake one night.

I was even more convinced I was sticking with it when I started writing the story and realized I was hiding details from my sleuth that I already knew – like the murderer’s name, method, and motivation – and thinking she would never guess.

When the setting and side characters became real in my mind, I knew I was ready.

Yes, I’m committed to giving this a try.



What about you? Have you ever changed genres, or thought about it?

Or if you are pre-published, have you decided which genre your stories fit in?



And let’s have a bit of fun in the comments! Every commenter will have their name in the drawing for a copy of “Convenient Amish Proposal.”

Are You Thinking About a Change?

If you include a suggestion for my new pen name in your comment, you’ll also be in the drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. So suggest away!

Are You Thinking About a Change?






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55 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: Are You Thinking About a Change?

  • Vince
    on May 18, 2020 | 01:17 Vincesaid :
    "Hi Jan:

    I would strongly suggest that you do not use a pen name unless you are writing something that would hurt your brand like "X" rated books.

    Lawrence Block had many pen names at the start of his career and he wrote that he wished he had never done that. He had a lot of little followings which had no accumulative effect. This cost him lots of marketing power and years that he could have been using to build his brand.

    Today book cover artwork is so stylized that readers can usually see at a glance that a book is an Amish Romance or a Cozy Mystery. Indeed, a Cozy Mystery had better look like a Cozy Mystery from the cover or it will miss a great many of the readers who are most likely to buy the book.

    I see no problem in having Jan Drexler write Amish Romances that look like Amish Romances at a glance while at the same time also writing Jan Drexler Cozy Mysteries -- as long as the cover art shouts Cozy Mystery and it is clearly labeled "Cozy Mystery" on the cover.

    James Patterson has no pen names and he writes in all genres for all age groups. He says his brand is how he creates page-turners in every genre. Each scene is a chapter and each chapter changes the trajectory of the story. This produces super fast reads in all genres.

    Think about it: is it really so bad for readers to think, "Jan Drexler writes Amish Romances and also writes Cozy Mysteries?" The problem here is that some readers may get upset that Jan wrote another Cozy Mystery and made them wait another six months for your next new Amish Romance.

    This is nothing new. Writers who write series face the same problem. The author just has to make them wait. Some may even shout at you at a book signing, "When are you going to write another Will Robey book?"

    This is still okay because so many of the author's books act to sell all the other books that the author has written. If you had different pen names then selling a book under one pen name will not help the other books sell.

    Actually, if I loved a Amish Romance writer's storytelling, I'd be more inclined to read one of her Cozy Mysteries -- if I ever read Cozy Mysteries -- than I would a Cozy Mystery author I didn't know.

    Think of your readers as compounding like interest in a bank. Get them all on the same page in the same bank account to receive the maximum benefit from all you do.

    Good luck,

    Vince
    "
  • Ruth Logan Herne
    on May 18, 2020 | 04:57 Ruth Logan Hernesaid :
    "Jan, I'm having so much fun with my Guideposts mysteries, that the thought of writing mysteries together is awesome! And I never, ever thought I'd write a mystery, and yet here I am.... and having so much fun.

    I found with mysteries I had to reverse my process and think backwards from the answers to how to lay the questions or hints or clues... and once I visualized that, it was so much easier to write.

    I'm so excited you're doing this!

    You know, Vince made a good point about the pen name, but that's a personal decision we have to make... I kept mine throughout historicals and contemporaries and trade paperbacks and mysteries, but they're all in the inspirational market and I decided I wanted the risk factor. Like Vince said, if people trust the name, they'll explore.

    But it's a big decision, too.... and either way, I'm excited like crazy! Good for you.

    The one thing I've found is that we have to take bold strides in this business to make our own splash in the pool... and if our product shines, if it's solid and good, the readers will come.

    Go get 'em!!!!!!

    "
  • Ruth Logan Herne
    on May 18, 2020 | 05:15 Ruth Logan Hernesaid :
    "One other thing to say: This takes courage and determination, something you have in spades. "
  • Glynis
    on May 18, 2020 | 08:27 Glynissaid :
    "This is a big step, Jan! And I'm excited to watch this play out. I don't have a suggestion for a pen name, but if something hits me, I'll be back!

    [And no need to put me in the drawing. I loved the book :)]"
  • kaybee
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:23 kaybeesaid :
    "Jan, what an adventure and good for you! That is a fun genre and one I frequently visit. Are you going to have any special "hook" (knitting shop, rare book enthusiast, chef, bounty hunter)?
    I think your readers will follow you into the secular market. Cozies appeal to inspy readers, at least this one, because they usually don't have explicit sex and the violence occurs off-scene. Cozies are the ultimate crossover.
    Cozies are also good for writers because you don't have to master all the intricacies of the law that you would for a police procedural. Your amateur sleuth is, well, an amateur sleuth.
    I would love to try a different type of writing once I'm established. Think I'd keep my name unless it's a really radical jump. (Middle-grade dystopian, anyone?) Right now my two unsold series are an historical romance series right after World War I and a contemporary romance series. I don't know if those are radical enough departures, but they haven't sold yet so it's one of those moot point things.
    Writing is all about taking risks, isn't it? Well, you've got one reader for your cozies, me.
    KB"
  • Rachel Herod
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:40 Rachel Herodsaid :
    "Jan, Thank you for the post. I have always had an interest in pseudonyms, so I do have a suggestion that was on my list of options at one time: Braneen (or Branine) Moss. I could never decide which spelling I liked better, but I love the sound of it.

    Whatever name you decide to use, this is a huge undertaking that it sounds like you're ready to embark upon. Also, I've never read an Amish romance. Never even considered it or knew the genre existed until recently. But reading about your books makes me want to try them out. :-)

    Rachel"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:43 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Those are good points, Vince. I had never thought of the issue from that angle! I will take your advice seriously!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:51 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thank you, Ruthy! I don't feel like a courageous risk-taker, but when I think of some of the things I've accomplished - all with the Lord's leading and strength - maybe I am. :-)

    Was it you who wrote the post about starting mysteries at the end? That was a key thing to learn. I've done much more plotting with this story than I usually do (and I'm a plotter!) and it all started with the idea for the end.

    Here I go, taking bold strides!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:52 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thanks, Glynis! And I'll keep you in the drawing. If you're the winner, you can pick a different book. :-)"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 09:59 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "If life is an adventure, then the writing life is the ultimate adventure, isn't it?

    The hook for the series I've planned is that the sleuth, Emma, is the manager of a B&B that her aunt owns. Emma has her own skill set, but as the series progresses we'll find out secrets about the B&B (there's an abandoned gold mine on the property that will play into that,) the townspeople, and even Emma's lovely Aunt Rose.

    It has been a lot of fun planning this, and even more so since the setting is outside my office window! "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 10:02 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thank you, Rachel! Moss is a great last name, and Braneen (or Branine) is different enough to be memorable. Both important points in a pen name.

    If you try one of my Amish stories, I hope you enjoy it!"
  • Sandy Smith
    on May 18, 2020 | 10:13 Sandy Smithsaid :
    "Good post, Jan. I love cozy mysteries so I look forward to reading yours when it is out. I also agree that I think you could use your own name for the cozy mystery. I don't think that is too big a stretch. I agree with Vince that people who like your books would follow to the cozy genre. However, if you do decide on a pen name, use something that comes from your own name, such as your middle name and your maiden name, or something like that. Not knowing either of those names, I guess I can't say if they would work but it would be meaningful to you. Please put me in the drawing."
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 10:52 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Hi Sandy!

    Using parts of my own name for a pen name is something I've considered (and I'm counting your idea as a suggestion, so you're in the drawing!

    The thing about cozy mysteries (that Kaybee mentioned above) is that they appeal to most readers, fans of secular fiction and inspirational fiction both. By keeping the story "clean" and having the murders happen "off screen," they have a wide appeal. "
  • Karen Jennings
    on May 18, 2020 | 11:33 Karen Jenningssaid :
    "Hello Jan! Your new book series sounds exciting with that gold mine on the property. I enjoy reading both Amish and Cozies, so I can't wait for your new book to publish! This is a timely post for me because I'm just getting started with my platform and brand. I am praying over my writing asking the Lord to guide me. Good luck and best wishes! "
  • kaybee
    on May 18, 2020 | 11:38 kaybeesaid :
    "Jan, a B&B is a great setting for a cozy mystery because you can always play off the guests. Or if it's a tourist town you can always have festivals etc. The possibilities are endless. "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 11:49 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Yes, it is a great setting. People will be coming and going, and the Black Hills plays host to millions of tourists every summer - including the famous/infamous Sturgis motorcycle rally! I'm going to have to have bikers in at least one of the stories!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 11:51 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thanks, Karen!

    And congratulations on your new venture! It's exciting, isn't it? When you rely on the Lord to establish your path, you never know where it might lead...but it will always be good. :-)"
  • Lee-Ann B
    on May 18, 2020 | 11:58 Lee-Ann Bsaid :
    "This is such a timely post, Jan! Just last night I sat down and wrote out my career aspirations and the genre that I really saw my writing headed. Fortunately, my current set up for web and social media stuff will segue well with the direction I'm planning on heading (but God can change all of that).
    I enjoy cozies, but honestly I don't like the murder part of it. I've been scouring bookshelves for cozies sans murder and it's hard to find. Guideposts though seem to have that niche well in hand. I've thought about writing cozies (and am doing a serial one for my author newsletter), but all without the murder.
    I agree with your thoughts on assuming a new identity for your secular market books.
    Suggestions for new names: Cora Riddle, Anne-Marie Bayfield, or a play with your real name Diane Jaxson."
  • Linda Sammaritan
    on May 18, 2020 | 12:02 Linda Sammaritansaid :
    "Hi Jan. Whether you choose a pen name or not, expect a new follower because I LOVE cozy mysteries! If you choose to stick with your well-known name, I can see the marketing could simply include an invitation to your faithful followers to tell their friends about the new genre. Of course, there would still be more intensive marketing to do, but that had to be done with the pen name as well--and the name wouldn't even be known.
    Hmmm...a pen name suggestion...How about switching your first and last names, then adapting them to names of similar sounds. Trixie Jensen? I love playing with names!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 12:30 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Hi Lee-Ann!

    I think there is definitely a niche for cozies without the murder. The Guideposts series are a great example. And my husband and I were remarking the other day on how many Agatha Christie stories don't have murder as part of the mystery. For instance, "The Wasp's Nest" (we watched the television version with David Suchet as Poirot.) The puzzle was a real tangle...but there was no murder. The same with Sherlock Holmes. Many of the stories involve solving the mystery of stolen government papers, or foiling a bank robbery, or protecting a threatened client.

    Yes, there is plenty of room for the stories you're contemplating!

    And thank you for the name suggestions!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 12:36 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Hi, Linda!

    What is it about cozy mysteries that we love? It could be the puzzles (we all love puzzles, right?) or it could be the fantasy aspect of the perfect story-world with dark undertones. Add to that a sleuth and/or detective who can always conquer the evil intentions of the bad guys, and it's a recipe for an enjoyable evening or two of reading pleasure.

    Thanks for the pen name ideas!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:00 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Jan, I'm excited for you! I love the idea of you doing cozy mysteries. I think your pen name should still be recognizable so your readers can find you if they'd like. Maybe use first and middle initials and your last name. Or use J. (Maiden name) Drexler. Hope that all made sense. If your maiden name were Jan Louise Jones, I'd suggest:
    J.L. Drexler or J. Jones Drexler

    Have fun with the book and creating a pen name!"
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:14 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Jan, how exciting to write in a new genre. Writing fresh is always an adventure, and I know your new stories will delight!

    I agree with Missy about using a slight variation of your real name for your "pen" name for the mysteries. I was planning to suggest using the initials of your first and middle names, just as Missy wrote in the comment above. That way, folks know it's you, but they also recognize which stories are Amish and which ones are not.

    Your website could be divided into two sections. Your newsletter as well. Make it easy on yourself and on your readers! I'm sure many of them will follow you into the new mystery genre...and some mystery readers will enjoy your Amish stories when they learn you write both.

    Keep us posted on what you decide!

    "
  • Tonya @ Sprinkle on Glitter
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:20 Tonya @ Sprinkle on Glittersaid :
    "I think you're super comitted! For a pen name some use their middle & maiden name or you could go completely different and do something like Ella Mae.
    I've thought a lot about different genres. Just starting out I know it's a critical decision. I love the lightheartedness, humor, & sass of chick-lit but that's outdated. I think I could go more lighthearted and humorous women's fiction or rom-com. I havent fully decided, I like aspects of both. I'm not sure if it's possible to combine it all?"
  • Sherida Stewart
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:54 Sherida Stewartsaid :
    "Very interesting, Jan. You definitely sound excited about this different path. I loved reading Diane Mott Davidson’s mysteries, mainly because Goldy was a caterer, so food was involved. I think your pen name should be S.D. Drex. Wishing you success on your new writing adventure!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:57 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thanks, Missy!

    Having a recognizable pen name might be a good idea...hmm. "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 14:59 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "That's good advice, Debby!

    I'll certainly keep everyone posted. But first things first - I NEED to finish the book! LOL! It all comes down to BICHOK - bottom in chair, hands on keyboard!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 15:02 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "One piece of advice that I've heard many times is to write the story that's on your heart, and the way you want to write it. Don't worry too much about what's "in" or not, because the market changes so quickly.

    So write your chick-lit! Enjoy it! You never know - it might be just what an editor is looking for. :-)"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 15:03 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "I forgot to add - chick-lit, women's fiction, and rom-com aren't too far apart from each other, so a combination is a definite possibility! If you were trying to combine gothic and rom-com that would be a different story. ;-)"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 15:05 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Sherida, that says a lot about you..."food was involved." LOL!

    One of the things about cozies is that food is often involved. I made sure I included a healthy dose of chocolate in mine!"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 18, 2020 | 15:42 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Jan, this is so exciting. You've definitely intrigued me. Keep praying. God will guide you where He wants you. But you HAVE to keep us posted. :)"
  • Jackie Layton
    on May 18, 2020 | 16:19 Jackie Laytonsaid :
    "Jan,

    I'm so excited for you to take the plunge into cozies. I can 'hear' the excitement in your words, and I'm so happy for you!

    Yay!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 16:24 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thanks, Mindy!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 16:25 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thank you, Jackie! I can hardly wait to read Bite the Dust. It's on my Kindle, waiting for me!"
  • Barb Beechy
    on May 18, 2020 | 17:00 Barb Beechysaid :
    "I would read any book you published and I love who dun it stories
    As well. I get tired of the amish books so I like to switch
    And read something different. If you write it, I will
    Be happy to read and review plus push the book. "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 17:07 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thank you, Barb! We can put in a vote for Amish fans who would follow me to the new genre!"
  • Cate Nolan
    on May 18, 2020 | 17:15 Cate Nolansaid :
    "This is so fascinating to me, Jan. I've toyed with the idea of cozies - not such a stretch since I write romantic suspense. With RS, I'm trying to prevent the death whereas cozies usually begin with one.

    My daughter loves to read cozies and she has been on me to collaborate on one with her."
  • Cate Nolan
    on May 18, 2020 | 17:18 Cate Nolansaid :
    "I agree with Debby on this. I've noticed a lot of authors split their websites between their genres. That way fans who don't want to switch aren't confused, but the ones who read more widely know it's you!"
  • Rachel Herod
    on May 18, 2020 | 18:09 Rachel Herodsaid :
    "Lee-Ann, I love the idea of playing with your own name to get a pseudonym. Diane Jaxson is a great one. :-)"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 18:36 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Collaborating with your daughter would be fun!

    And you know the signs...when you can't stop thinking about the story, you know you have to write it!"
  • Lucy Reynolds
    on May 18, 2020 | 20:52 Lucy Reynolds said :
    "As a reader I would be more apt to pick up a different genre by a name I love and trust. This was interesting to read. Your pen name should be Fran Lexi. "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 18, 2020 | 21:09 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "That's good to know, Lucy. And thanks for the name suggestion!"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on May 18, 2020 | 22:11 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Congrats on taking a big leap! You're going to do great, because the first requirement of writing a great mystery is being a fan of great mysteries! :)"
  • Mary Connealy
    on May 18, 2020 | 23:41 Mary Connealysaid :
    "I think you should change your name...but not very much. Does that make sense?
    I don't know your middle name or your maiden name. But how about using them. That would bring your loyal readers along but INFORM them that this is a change.
    Jan Smith Drexler, Jan Louise Drexler. Or Janice M. Drexler.
    It's not like you're going to try and hide your identity. You need to promote the work and how better than to promote it to readers you already have on your newsletter list or facebook page.

    I'd also market the Cozy Jan alongside the Amish Jan.
    In fact, maybe you could name yourself Jan Cozy Drexler. That makes me smile to type it.

    The example that comes to mind it Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jane Castle...all three the same author. But historical/contemporary/futuristic. She splashes that on her website. And all three names.com take you to the same place where the banner flips between the three names. (I just looked)

    So, Janice Mystery Drexler is born!!!"
  • Angeline
    on May 18, 2020 | 23:45 Angelinesaid :
    "Hi Jan, It sounds like great fun to try out a new genre. If you are committed you can do it! I wish you best in this step of faith you are taking. My sisters love mysteries, so I will be sure to tell them about your books to come. "
  • Sally Shupe
    on May 19, 2020 | 11:30 Sally Shupesaid :
    "Hi Jan, great post! I chuckled at this part: I started writing the story and realized I was hiding details from my sleuth that I already knew – like the murderer’s name, method, and motivation – and thinking she would never guess. Does the sleuth figure it out in the end? She'll have to lol. As an unpunblished author, I have written a few a children's short stories that featured my kids when they were little, a mix between Nancy Drew and R.L. Stine; a few contemporary Christian romances; and a syfy story-I love the abnormal animal movies like Dinoshark, and the spider and snake movies where they have been genetically altered for some reason. But in all these I am figuring out my voice, how to write dialogue, develop a sense for pacing, etc. A question: some authors, instead of having a pen name, have their author name and cover dictate what kind of story, so they keep their name. For example, an author's name written in cursive on the cover would signify one type of story, while a printed name would signify something else. And the same with the cover, depending on how the characters are dressed, would signify what kind of story, Christian or secular. I've found that if an author has a pen name, I don't realize they are connected and would have read the other stories if I'd known they were the same person. Same with authors who start out with another name and then change, like Max Brand. I didn't find out until recently he'd written under another name. When I looked this up, I found: Known as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie created 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections during her impressive writing career. However, what is unknown to many is the fact that she also wrote six romance novels under a pen name, Mary Westmacott, which she managed to keep secret for 20 years.It is said that Christie adopted her pen name, so that she could more easily switch genres from mystery and crime to romance. I had no idea she wrote romance. Now I'll have to go see if I can find some of these. For a pen name: Janie Drex is light and fun, like a cozy mystery! "
  • Vince
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:19 Vincesaid :
    "Hi Jan & Ruth:

    I believe that the key to a great mystery is coming up with a great, innovated, surprising solution to the mystery. Once you have that solved you can work front to back, back to front, or middle to both front and back.

    Just write the story so that it is a very interesting read even without the mystery (like having very entertaining, wise-cracking, heroines such as Stephanie Plum).

    For example: in the "Hound of the Baskervilles" the key to the murder is that the dog did not bark. Come up with something like that and the rest of the book will almost write itself. :)

    You can always go back and sprinkle in some red Herrings and obscure clues to taste.

    "
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:47 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thanks, Erica!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:49 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Great points, Mary! And I know you've taken your own advice with your Mary Nealy books. :-)

    Obviously, I need to do more thinking and research before making a final decision!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:49 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Thank you, Angeline!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:53 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "It sounds like you're having a lot of fun exploring different genres, Sally! And you're right - every story you write is an opportunity to learn!

    I had heard that Agatha Christie had written romance novels, but I've never looked them up, either. One more author to go on my TBR list!

    And thanks for the name suggestion!"
  • Jan Drexler
    on May 19, 2020 | 15:56 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "I agree - that solution to the mystery has to come early in the plotting! But I'm too much of a plotter to write the story first and then sprinkle in the clues and red herrings. For me (so far) the framework of the story is the mystery, clues, red herrings, and the solution. I'm working the story in around that framework. We'll see how it goes!"
  • Nicki Chapelway
    on May 19, 2020 | 17:05 Nicki Chapelwaysaid :
    "This is a very timely post seeing as I am in the middle of jumping genres and pen names too. Only I'm going from YA fantasy to adult horror/comedy. I decided to keep my pen name similar to the whole Nicki Chapelway thing for the readers who want to make the jump with me. But to keep things from getting too confusing my pen name for my adult books is N.L. Chapelway instead of just Nicki. Maybe you could do something similar like J.(enter blank initial here). Drexler? idk XD but I can definitely say I am more of a fan of mysteries than Amish stories myself."
  • petersmith
    on May 20, 2020 | 04:33 petersmithsaid :
    "Once you have made a plan of action and you know what the objectives of the video are, you can begin to prepare your footage. You need to prepare your footage before you begin to actually create the video. If you are curious to know more about see funny videos read me."
  • Aaliya
    on May 21, 2020 | 05:24 Aaliyasaid :
    "Thanks for sharing your experience. I have just started writing books. Shipping container manufacturers in UAE helped me to publish the first book I never thought of changing my genre in writing books. The post gave me the confidence that I can be successful in all genres."
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