Monday, August 13, 2012

Pen Names, Or Why Megg Has 400 Personalities

Anyone who's read my work knows that Megg Jensen writes high fantasy for teen girls. So when my muse hand-delivered a contemporary paranormal into my psyche, I pushed it aside. Staying true to my Megg brand is really important to me.

But the story wouldn't let me go. It's been haunting me in the back of my mind for more than a year and when I have free time, I find myself writing the story. Yet deep down I knew I couldn't release it under the Megg brand. Megg is magic, medieval settings, and mystical plots. This new story was modern, sarcastic, and edgy.

After much thought, I decided to give birth to another pen name - Isobel Lucas. Isobel (who's named after members of my family) will be the face of my new paranormal series, Hell Bent/Heaven Sent.

Obviously, I'm not hiding the fact that I have multiple names (both are pen names, by the way). I'm going to openly cross-promote the two on Facebook, yet new readers to my books won't be confused by the very different genre and tone of the two series.

I'm not the first person to pioneer this. Authors utilize this technique all the time! Here's some great examples of multi-named authors:

(fellow Indelible) Elle Strauss (MG and lower YA) is also Lee Strauss (upper YA and NA)

James Rollins (contemporary thriller) is James Clemens (high fantasy)

Anne Rice (horror) is Anne Rampling (erotica)

Maintaining your brand as an author is important, but I was able to find a solution that allows me to explore all of my interests. Whether it's medieval fantasy or modern paranormal, I'm thrilled I have the opportunity to create fiction that (I hope) many readers will love.


Megg Jensen, aka Isobel Lucas, is a mom, wife, and writer living in the Chicago 'burbs. She loves swing dancing, rollerblading, and reading. She's a total spaz and spends far too much time playing with Catch her on Facebook, her blog, or on Author2Author.


  1. Having multiple personalities/alter egos is so freeing--an fun!

    Congrats on your new series!

    1. I think we'll see more and more Indie authors using this method so they can explores other genres and styles of writing. :)

    2. Thanks Elle!

      Laura - I think so too. It's a lot of fun to be another person for a while. :)

  2. It seems there are a lot of good reasons to have different pen names -- the best being, not disappointing your readers. Fans need to know what to expect when they pick up your book and I think having different names accomplishes the goal!

    1. ...and that's exactly what made my decision final, Jessie. I'm really excited to see how it all works out. :D

  3. How fun! I love both names. I've been trying to think of another for my adult romance books since I don't want them confused with my childrens books. Now wouldn't that be an awful mix-up?

    1. Laura,

      It would be! I suggest looking a family names - using last names as first names or consider middle names too. I really enjoyed working out new combinations. :D

  4. I didn't choose to change my name when I switched from YA to MG this year. I considered it, but then plunged ahead as C. Lee McKenzie. Mistake? Maybe. I'll find out and we can post about it!

    Thanks, Laura