Why A Pen Name?
I have been asked why I use a pen name as well as my name Michele Scott. I am writing thrillers that are pretty dark and a bit twisted, as well as ramping up the romance in them versus the light romance I write in my mysteries. I am writing these thrillers under the pen name A.K. Alexander. I actually wrote a few of the thrillers years ago and had sent them out prior to having a literary agent. One of the scripts was actually picked out of a slush pile and went rounds at Harper. At the time (9 years ago) I kept thinking "this is it," because the editor even contacted me over the phone! However, after nine months of waiting, I received a letter that stated it wouldn't fit into their line. I was so disappointed that I can remember standing in my kitchen in tears. My middle kid who was nine at the time came in and saw me crying. He asked me why. I told him that I didn't think I could keep on writing. I had finally reached a point where I felt beat. I had been submitting for 12 years at that stage with continual rejection. I had completed 8 manuscripts. I figured that maybe it was time to quit.
However, my son said to me, "Don't you know, Mom, that God wouldn't have made you a writer if he didn't think you could do it." Okay, so how do you quit after that? You don't! I didn't. I went on to write Murder Uncorked and got an agent and within two weeks had a three book deal with Penquin. I wound up selling nine books with them. After six years of writing for them, I ventured off into the world of Indie publishing and have never looked back.
I am writing under a pen name for my thrillers because they are so different from my mysteries. They are a separate "brand." This way a reader doesn't get confused when they download a Michele Scott book versus an A.K. Alexander book.
I was wondering who else is using pen names out there and if so, what is your reasoning? If you're not a writer, does it matter to you as long as you know what the book is about, or does it help you to be able to recognize which name delineates the type of book you will be reading? Do you think it's a good idea?
About The Author:
I started writing when I was nine-years-old. I used to write short stories on my dad's notepads. One day he read one and he said to me,"You are a writer." It stuck. My dad is still my biggest supporter and he is also my mentor in many ways. I went to college at The University of Southern California. My parents though didn't think that "creative writing" at USC was a major that would likely be lucrative in the long run, so I figured I would be logical and look at writing in the journalistic field. God (the Universe), etc. had a different plan for me. Soon after I graduated from USC I gave birth to my first son. He was six weeks premature and he some health issues, which caused me to decide that going into a career at that time would not benefit my son. So, I stayed home with him and I wrote my first book. That first book is tucked away in a box somewhere because it's pretty darn bad, but it gave me the confidence I needed to know that I could start, write, and finish a book. From that point on, it took me twelve years to become a published author and several manuscripts. It has been a wonderful and amazing process, and although many challenges have presented themselves along the way, I have never quit writing. It is my passion!
My other passion is Horses. These amazing animals are very dear to my heart and I have been known to take in "strays." My daughter and I are very active in the horse world. My daughter is involved in pony club and three day eventing.
I enjoy working with other writers when I can, especially kids. I designed a program for young writers to help them learn how to write short stories and picture books to writing novellas for older kids. I have mentored several students now and it's a joyful experience to see young writers and their creative minds at work. It is something I am working on expanding with some local teachers in my area.
Family and friends are extremely important to me. I am the proud mother of three amazing kids who have always supported me and are just great, awesome human beings (yes, I know I sound like every mother in the world about their kids, but I really mean it). My husband is my best friend and a very patient man, which is a real positive - he is married to a writer after all. We also have three dogs, a kitty, and eight horses.
When not writing, riding, or being a taxi-cab driver for my youngest, I try to find time to do a little yoga, meditate or cooking. I love cookbooks and cooking!
BUY THE BOOK: Daddy's Home
Book Description: Daddy's Home
A KILLER STALKS HIS PREY ...
A calculating and deadly killer is in search for what he terms as his perfect family. Preying upon single mothers and their innocent children, the police have dubbed him "The Family Man."
HE WATCHES THEM ... HE TAKES THEM ...
He plays out his role as the perfect father. When things don't go so perfect in his insane fantasy world, the family man kills.
HOLLY JENNINGS IS ON THE CASE ...
Crime Scene Investigator Holly Jennings of the San Diego Department is determined to track him down and see that justice is served. With Holly being a single mother herself, this man's crimes are deeply personal to her, and turn more so when a friend and her daughter become the latest victims of "The Family Man."
Along with tracking an evil killer, Holly is dealing with her own internal demons. She is raising her daughter Chloe alone after the death of her husband - a death she feels guilty for.
To complicate her life further, Holly is doing her best to avoid possibly falling in love again with charming veterinarian Brendan O'Neil. As Holly delves into solving the murders, she finds herself being sucked into a game of cat and mouse by "The Family Man," that may lead her down a dark path too horrible to bear. One that may cost her gravely - her family, her new found love, and even her life.