Why a pen name?

A.J. Demas is a new pen name. I never thought I would publish under a pen name at all, so why am I doing it now? I guess there are a couple of reasons. I’m writing in a new genre, romance, and I know there will be themes and scenes in some of my new books that readers of my old books won’t like. Yeah, yeah. The sex scenes. You know what I’m talking about. From what I’ve seen, this is a common reason to use a pen name, but by itself I don’t think it would have been enough to convince me to do it. I don’t want to feel like I’m hiding behind the pen name, and I don’t plan on keeping my real identity a secret (you can find it in the bio on this site, if you’re interested).

So why a pen name? The most important reason for me is to simplify marketing. In real life I like to write lots of different things. It’s the kind of person I am. I’d even go so far as to say I have an unmanageable array of interests. I always have multiple projects on the go, and not in an organized way. I flit from one thing to another and find it hard to pin down a definition of what it is I do. When I set out to write romance, I thought it would be kind of nice to be able to say, “I’m a romance writer.” I’d even like to be able to stand in solidarity with other romance writers and be proud of the genre and the label. But I–the real me–am never going to be able to honestly label myself a romance writer. I’ll have ideas that aren’t romance ideas and want to write in other genres. So I invented A.J. Demas, who is also me. She’s a romance writer. You can depend on her to stick to her genre and even her sub-genre (most of the time) and to produce the kind of story you want to read–I hope!

So there you have it! I’m A.J. Demas. I write romance set in a fictional world that’s something like the ancient Mediterranean in the first century BC. Mostly queer, sort of historical, always fun. My debut novel, One Night in Boukos, launches on June 16, 2018.

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