Sibley Jackson talks Private Performance and The Challenge of Pen Names ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Sibley Jackson for taking the time to talk with us today.

Private-Performance1

Title: Private Performance
Author: Sibley Jackson
Publisher: Self Published
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Blurb:

*Note: This short gay romance contains hot gay m/m sex scenes

Jason had sworn to never care for a guy again before taking it slow and easy when it came to the relationship department. He’d chosen poorly once. By the time he walked away his self-esteem had been in shreds.

Z is a dynamic, sensual rock star in the making. His band is hoping to hit the big-time and they’re getting close. He realized long ago his lifestyle had no room for a long-term relationship.

Then Z plays at Boys Will Be Boys, a popular gay club for a charity event, and Jason has a front row table. When their eyes meet it seems destiny has other plans for the two young men. Both tell themselves it can’t work out. They should just enjoy one night of hot sex and move on.

But love insists on entering the scene, just when neither is looking for it.

The Challenge of Pen Names:

By Caddy Rowland/Sibley Jackson

At the beginning of November, I decided to try an experiment. I’d always written full length novels under my real name: Caddy Rowland. The Gastien Series is a five book historical/family saga drama and There Was a House saga is a four book psychological fiction drama. I believed I’d always be writing drama because I love writing about the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human. Additionally, my work is GLBT inclusive. Some of the books have gay or lesbian side characters, while some have gay main characters or, in the instance of There Was a House, a gay character shares main character status with a straight female starting late in the first book.

Then Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited came along. For Indies, I’ve never felt either was a good deal. Amazon demands us to be exclusively selling on Amazon in order to participate. Since I make about half of my income with other retailers this wasn’t a wise business decision for me.

Kindle Unlimited started a whole new ballgame. For those of you not familiar with it, readers pay $9.95 a month and can then read as many books as they wish (as long as they are in the KU program) at no additional charge. The royalty paid for this (just like in Select) is divided amongst authors from an Amazon pot. Well, right away the royalties being paid out were much less than an author earned on a full length novel priced decently. My novels are $4.99, so again this program didn’t make sense for me. I don’t mind selling my work and making less than the price of a movie ticket, but I do mind making less than the price of a cup of coffee.

Then authors started doing short stories and serials for Kindle Unlimited. Interesting. This was a way I could be paid fairly AND satisfy readers. A real win-win. However, I knew just “cutting up a novel” wouldn’t make sense and wouldn’t give readers a smooth experience. Plus, I knew romance and erotica were big sellers. I do write erotica under yet another pen name, but hadn’t jumped in the romance waters. I’m not a big romance reader. However, I do love to read gay fiction and even m/m romance. It seems the “formula” isn’t as strict. Plus, gay fiction (not the romance genre) offers me the dark drama I crave both when reading and writing. Gays have faced a ton of brutality and discrimination and the stories tend to be full of angst and raw emotion.

So I decided to try my hand at gay m/m romance shorts. Gay m/m romance is hot right now. About 80% to 90% of the readers are female. M/M is much different than gay fiction. Cue on the word “romance”. For one thing, very few men (straight or gay) read romance, although a small percentage do. It tends to be written in a way more appealing to woman than men. In other words, feelings and emotions are explored. Don’t get me wrong. There is hot sex—and plenty of it—in many gay m/m romances, including mine. But there is also a romantic relationship. The one danger I wanted to avoid was making one character a “chick with a dick”. It’s insulting and stereotypical to always cast one half of a gay couple as “feminine”.  Sure, there are plenty of femme gays out there, but there are plenty of gay men who embrace simply being human. They happen to be men who like having sex with other men. Period.

I also knew romance was a whole new genre that wouldn’t mesh together with my other series smoothly. People looking for dark, raw novels aren’t necessarily looking for happy endings, but romance readers demand them. Not wanting to alienate either old readers of mine or new, I realized a pen name was needed. Sibley Jackson was born.

Sibley and Jackson are two streets in the Lowertown area of St. Paul. This area is full of artists. One of my favorite areas, since I’m also a painter. When I put the two names together I really liked the sound of it. Sibley could be male or female. And it should be a name people remember. I certainly don’t know any other Sibley Jacksons!

However, I also knew my time was limited. What time I do have to write and promote couldn’t be watered down. It would be unfair for both names. Plus, that other pen name demands my attention for erotica. Thankfully erotica requires very little promotion if you get enough books out and the writing is decent. I could guiltlessly let go of worrying about my third hat, and try to figure out how to handle two of me.

Here is what I came up with: I’m not keeping it a secret that Sibley Jackson is me. Why would I? I’m proud of Sibley’s work. Therefore, I put both names as the author, with Sibley Jackson listed first, on the product page, but only put Sibley on the actual cover. Sibley has an Author Central page, but it links back to Caddy Rowland. Sibley does not have a separate Goodreads page. Instead, I mention on my Caddy Rowland page that I write gay m/m romance under the pen name Sibley Jackson. I’ve also announced it in the gay fiction and m/m fiction groups I belong to. At this time, I don’t have a separate Facebook page or twitter account. Again, I simply include the fact that I write under her name on my Caddy Rowland social media. Sibley has a page on my blog. I do have a separate mailing list for Sibley where people can sign up to receive new release notification by email. There is also a separate Sibley Jackson email address.

Will this work? I don’t know. Pen names are something I’m not crazy about juggling, so I chose the best way for me. The great thing about being indie is if it doesn’t work I can change my strategy quickly.

What I do know is I absolutely LOVE writing gay m/m romance. It surprises me, as I thought writing romance wouldn’t be my thing. Right now book four of the Performance Series is in editing. By the time this posts it will probably be released. I try to get a new one out every few weeks or so. This is a six book series. You can read the description under the book cover below.

I hope you check out the stories written about Z and Jason. The sex is sure to get you sizzling, and I think you’ll find the two men pretty damn irresistible. These eBooks are on Amazon only, and if you’re a member of KU you can read them FREE. If you don’t have a kindle, they can easily be converted into epub with a free Calibre download, available online. I know Calibre is how many Nook, I-pad, and kobo readers convert books from Amazon.

So here’s to experiments, both in names and Kindle Unlimited. I believe this is the beginning of a new, exciting way to read, and I also believe Sibley’s just getting warmed up. There will be many more gay m/m romances coming from Sibley down the line. Z and Jason are just the beginning.

Happy Reading,

Caddy aka Sibley

Other books in the series:

Repeat Performance

Major Performance

Command Performance (in editing as I write this. Most likely available by the time this posts.)

Final Performance (Coming in December 2014)

Encore Performance (Coming in December 2014)

About the Author:

Sibley Jackson gay m/m romance new release notification sign up: http://tinyurl.com/kwzlad8

Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Sibley-Jackson/e/B00PE521M6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

Author Blog: www.caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5106723.Caddy_Rowland

Author Email: sibleyjackson@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims

Buy Links:


Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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