Jaunty News, Kathryn Smith, Our Books, Writers and Writing

So, I have news. Kinda big news. Recently I sold 3 Steampunk romances to NAL under the name of Kate Cross. Some of you are already aware that I have a Young Adult Steampunk series launching from Harlequin Teen in May. The first book is The Girl in the Steel Corset and it’s being published under the name Kady Cross.

I also just sold an urban fantasy series, which I’m not going to say much about because nothing has been signed yet and I don’t want to jinx anything. However, I am so excited I could squeal like a little girl. It’s also going to be written under a new name. Right now I’m gearing toward Kate Locke.

Yes, it’s a lot to absorb and a lot of change. Some of you many wonder what’s going to happen to Kathryn Smith — and that’s the rub. I’ve been Kathryn Smith my whole life, and Kathryn Smith professionally for more than 10 years. However, When Tempting a Rogue will be the last Kathryn Smith book for awhile, possibly forever. It feels… weird.

So why the change, you may ask? Well, in publishing there are all manner of factors — how different the new product is from what fans expect from Kathryn Smith, wanting a fresh start… My reasons were many. Mostly, I decided I needed a change, and a restart to my career. That doesn’t mean that giving up Kathryn Smith was easy. It wasn’t. It isn’t. However, I also want to give these new books the best chance they have to succeed, and sometimes that means a clean slate. I don’t want Kathryn Smith’s history (the good and bad) to influence these new books. However, I also want to make it easy for fans to find me, so I’m going to do all I can to make sure my current readers know I’ve made the change. Hopefully they’ll follow me.

Then there’s the fact that a pen name affords a certain amount of privacy. I can go out and put on the persona of Kady Cross and then come home and be plain ole Kate, which I have to admit, sounds good. In fact, if I could go back, I would write under a different name than Kathryn Smith right from the beginning.  Do you know a reader once said she wouldn’t read me because my name didn’t sound ‘historical romance enough’? It’s true, I swear.

This new venture is scary. I haven’t written anything for any publisher other than Avon (except for one short story) since they bought me in 1999. Now, I’m writing for 3 different — and new to me — publishers. Scary, and exciting. I find myself nervous about new territory and new working relationships, but at the same time the enthusiasm for these new projects has been infectious. I am so excited to be working on these books and with the chance to really push myself and see just what I’m capable of creating.

That’s my news. What do you think? Does it bother you when authors switch gears and change their names? Or do you follow ’em regardless because you like their work? Fellow authors, have you played the name game? And who are some of your favorite authors who write under different names?

10 thoughts on “By Any Other Name?

  1. Kate – congratulations! Your new work is gonna be fabulous, I know – and I have no doubt your fans will follow you. What an exciting (if scary) turn for you!

  2. Andrea says:

    Congratulations, Kate!!! I’m sad that there may be no more Kathryn Smith historicals, but you know I’ll follow you wherever you go! 🙂

  3. Shana Shana says:

    It doesn’t bother me at all when people write under different names. I understand the necessity in this marketplace. Your fans will follow you. Congrats on all the sales!

  4. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Woo-hoo! I’m just excited for you, whatever name you’re writing under. All the books sound great and I think it’s a great new adventure. I will admit I will be sad if there are never any more Kathryn Smith books cause I love your historicals, but I have no doubt I’ll love the new ones too.

  5. KathrynSmith says:

    Thanks, ladies! I just don’t know what to do with myself I’m so excited! Work… right. I have to work. 😉

  6. catslady says:

    Congratulations. I gave up a long time ago trying to keep up with all the different names an author may use. If the author enjoys writing different genres, I’m good with it. Although it does keep me from following someone I know but then I get excited finding new authors so it seems like a fair trade.

  7. Heather Snow says:

    I am so ridiculously excited about your new projects!!! Of course I hope good old historical Kathryn Smith will make a bow again someday 😉

    I will most certainly follow an author to a new project, and at least try it. Good storytelling doesn’t change with a name.

    Best of luck with all of your upcoming stories. I am in a bit of awe, given I worry about completing one little contract in a year and a half 🙂

  8. Kathryn — Huzzah on these sales and this next big step in your writing career!

    I too hope that the historical romance market will see you back again at some point, but I am so thrilled for you for these opportunities!

    And when are you going to sleep?

    Terri B

  9. Congratulations on all of your new sales, Kate! That’s terrific! I think your reasons for taking pen names are very valid. If I ever sell a YA project (one day, I hope to venture into this realm!), I’ll take a pen name, too.

  10. It’s all so exciting, Kate! And no, it doesn’t bother me a bit. Sometimes I’m surprised to find that one author is actually also another. Elizabeth Hoyt is Julia Harper, for example. I admire people who can cross over into other genres. But I think it would be cool to pick a new name, too. Kristan Higgins is the only name I’ve had since birth…when I started writing, my mom suggested Trinity Tremaine as my nom de plume. Had to pass. Just a wee bit torrid, you know?

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