[personal profile] rj_anderson
Well, I couldn't get the LJ fairy to respond to my request to remove the defunct [livejournal.com profile] rjanderson feed, so I did the next best thing. Now I'm signed up as some variation of "R.J. Anderson" almost everywhere I have an online presence, and folks here will no longer have to struggle to remember how to spell "synaesthete7".

But I've been curious about something. If you're a published or soon-to-be published author with a background in online fandom, would you mind telling me what you decided to do with that background once your deal went through, and why?

If you chose to separate your fannish and professional identities, for instance, what factors influenced that decision? Was it your agent's recommendation to hide your secret Bat-identity, or did your publisher require it, or was it just something you felt would be prudent? If the decision was mostly yours, did you make it because you were embarrassed by the thought of people digging up your old fanfics, or because you worried about possible legal repercussions, or because you feared that your fellow pro authors would despise you if they knew? Or was there some other reason?

If on the other hand you've chosen not to hide your former (or present) fannish involvement, what gave you the confidence to make that decision? Have you had any unpleasant experiences that make you wish you'd chosen differently? Or have you found reasons to be glad you made that decision, and if so, what were they?

For my part, I've decided to write under the same pen name I've used for years, and keep my fanfic links page as part of my author site. I've been open about my fanfic writing past with both my agent and my new editor, and neither of them seems to think it's a problem, so I'm going ahead and hoping for the best. But sometimes I wonder if I'm going to regret that choice.

I'd love to get as much input on this as possible, so if you know of someone who fits the bill, please give them the heads-up. Anonymous commenting is welcome for authors who prefer to be discreet.

Date: 2007-07-25 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yahtzee63.livejournal.com
I'm too new to it to know for sure, or to say really how valid my choices are, but I've basically taken my cues from [livejournal.com profile] astolat. I have a separate blog for my profic and am neither publicly tying the two identities together nor ripping my fic down. I think only people who are pretty involved in fandom will make the connection, and they're welcome to.

I've made reference in my pro blog to writing fanfic, because I am not ashamed of it, learned virtually everything I know through it and refuse to let people browbeat me into treating it as a dirty secret. But I feel like fanfic is written for a specific audience -- the audience that cares about the source material the same way you do -- and that's not necessarily the same audience as my books. I will promote my books through my fic blog, but not vice versa.

Date: 2007-07-25 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morgandawn.livejournal.com
perhaps check with both astolat and stormheller and see how they approached the same issue? I've been chatting with stormheller about the topics

Date: 2007-07-25 11:36 pm (UTC)
kerravonsen: 7th Doctor with an open umbrella: foresight (foresight)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
and folks here will no longer have to struggle to remember how to spell "synaesthete7"

Bless you!

Date: 2007-07-26 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychic-serpent.livejournal.com
There are a number of places online where folks have credited "B.L. Purdom" with writing the Psychic Serpent Series, rather than plain old "Barb", and I have no problem with that. I created my [livejournal.com profile] blpurdom LJ, though, to begin to have more of a presence with my real name online, since that's the name I'll be publishing under (if everything goes as planned!). I'm certainly not going to attempt to publish under just "Barb" or "Psychic_Serpent". ;) Since there are a lot of people who already know me as a writer by my real name and seem anxious to see something in the book stores from me, I figure I've got a head start, and this gives you a head start, too. I look forward to seeing a book by R.J. Anderson at my local bookstore!

Date: 2007-07-26 01:27 am (UTC)
ext_5502: (writer)
From: [identity profile] aricadavidson.livejournal.com
I'm not on the verge of publishing or anything, but I do plan to write a novel someday. What I think I'd do is have two presences online - my fandom one and the professional one and make no ties between them. I'd do that to preserve my privacy and ability to "have a life" as it were online.

But yeah, that's just my opinion.

Congrats btw :)

Date: 2007-07-26 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zakhad.livejournal.com
Elizabeth Bear [livejournal.com profile] matociquila writes Criminal Minds fanfic from time to time in her livejournal. I bet she'd give you input if you asked nicely - if she hasn't already posted on that subject. She's a very friendly award-winning sci fi writer. There's also a fanfiction writer who writes profic for Stargate who's pretty open about it - [livejournal.com profile] juliefortune

Me, I've never really posted my last name thither and yon, so it would take some sleuthing to match me with any published work - but I'm probably going to use a pseudonym anyway, not because of fanfiction but because of my day job.

Date: 2007-07-26 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dichroic.livejournal.com
That's an especially interesting case, because AFAIK she succumbed to the lure of fanfic well *after* her name was well known as a published writer of both SF and fantasy.

Date: 2007-07-26 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacockharpy.livejournal.com
I myself am not published, but I always figured I'd set up my real name as a separate LJ just for publication news, if the happy day of publication ever came.

I do know that [livejournal.com profile] rachelcaine maintains a separate fandom identity ([livejournal.com profile] juliefortune), and has written and published Stargate books under her fandom identity. But it's not a secret, and Rachel Caine is also a pseudonym.

Because you've never kept your real name secret, and because you don't have a pile of fandom-wank scandal to worry about, I don't see a reason to hide your fandom background. Heck, I think my husband has a Doctor Who novel around here somewhere that lists Rebecca J. Anderson in the thanks and acknowledgements. :)

Date: 2007-07-26 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Heck, I think my husband has a Doctor Who novel around here somewhere that lists Rebecca J. Anderson in the thanks and acknowledgements. :)

There are three of them, actually -- [livejournal.com profile] kateorman's The Room With No Doors and Walking to Babylon (well, that's a Benny Summerfield book, but we all know where she came from) and Dave Stone's Burning Heart. I remember how excited I was over those!

Date: 2007-07-26 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacockharpy.livejournal.com
We have Burning Heart. I thought "WOW how cool!" when I saw your name.

Date: 2007-07-26 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
The funny thing about that one is that I've never read it, even though I supplied Dave with the quote from C.S. Lewis he uses at the beginning. I had a friendly acquaintance with Dave at the time (well, still do in a lapsed sort of way, I guess -- haven't exchanged e-mails with him in years, but it's not like we had a tiff or anything) but his description of the book made me think I would probably be happier appreciating it from a distance. :)

Date: 2007-07-26 02:12 am (UTC)
ext_6531: (HP: trio)
From: [identity profile] lizbee.livejournal.com
YOU CHANGED! IT'S LIKE THERE'S A STRANGER ON MY FLIST!

Re: changing identities, it's not as if you have masses of Harry/squid chan to embarrass you, or even G-rated slash that non-fen might take amiss. You've got it quite easy. *grin*

Date: 2007-07-26 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
I KNOW! I FEEL LIKE A STRANGER TOO! I EVEN SHED A TEAR WHEN I CASHED IN MY RENAME TOKEN!

And this is true about my general lack of embarrassing or potentially controversial fic. Phew.

Date: 2007-07-26 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] risti.livejournal.com
Had to add that your fandom name isn't mrssnape or sevvilvr, either.

My 2 cents

I keep my online life seperated from my professional, work life, mainly because I don't want coworkers I see everyday to know of my fannish tendencies.

That said, if being well known in fandom were to ever help me in RL, I'd be all over opening up the connection (after taking a little while to filter away a few things).

Then, if (this is purely hypothetical for me, quite possible for you) I suddenly became famous, I'd probably create a new online name to hide from people and just have fun.

Date: 2007-07-26 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] narcissam.livejournal.com
WAit till they find out you once suggested James used a Love Potion on Lily. Then the game will be up.

Congrats, btw.

Date: 2007-07-26 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Wait till they find out you once suggested James used a Love Potion on Lily

He totally DID, though. I still believe it. I mean, it's not like JKR ever gave us any logical bridge between "he's an arrogant toerag" and Lily/James OTP.

Date: 2007-07-26 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firebyrd.livejournal.com
That's exactly what I thought. "Who is rj_anderson and why are they suddenly on my friends list? I don't remember friending anyone named that!"

I don't think I said this before, but congrats on the contract, RJ!

Date: 2007-07-26 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-07-26 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravensnape.livejournal.com
Not that my opinion matters as I'm not an author, but I am a long time fan, RJ, and what you have written in the fandoms is a part of who you are. I know your proud of it. If you weren't you would not have posted word one. Why hide your wonderful words away? When someone loves the written word of another, they seek it out no mater the genre. Don't deprive those new to your works the pleasure of reading all you have to offer. If problems arise the connections can always be deleted or removed later.

Date: 2007-07-26 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thank you, that's very sweet. :)

Date: 2007-07-26 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celisnebula.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] ladyofthemasque is very prolific in HP fandom and has published 2 (soon to be three) books in the mainstream media. Her name and her author's webpage are accessible through her fannish livejournal. I'm sure she'd talk to you about how she balances both.

Date: 2007-07-26 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dichroic.livejournal.com
For you it might be actually valuable not to spearate things. If you wrote lots of Potterporn it might be different, but a lot of your fanfic has the structure and complexity of a complete novel so it can give readers a fiarly good idea of your capoabilities. Also, given that some of your work is extremely well-known in the fan world, whereas you're just starting out as a published author, I think that at least at first the fanfic is more likely to draw people to Knife than the other way around - and once Knife makes a name for you your fans will be happy to find they can read more.

Another interesting example is Diane Duane; her "fanfic" is under her real name but it's actually published stuff, Star Trek novels. But it was because I'd once been blown away by one of those that far transcends the usual ST novel that I first picked up her Young Wizards book. Mike Ford is another one in this category; when he died last year, a lot of the writings about him mentioned his ST novels in as glowing terms as his independent work.

Date: 2007-07-26 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dolorous-ett.livejournal.com
I'm a published translator, and I was a published translator before I started fanfic. I deliberately picked a name that couldn't be automatically linked to my translations. I have also recently removed several things that might help identify me from the interests lists of my LJ.

My fanfic identity is completely seprarated from my real name, and I'm happy to keep it that way, as my fannish writing is quite different from my translations.

There's also the issue of snobbery in my "day job" - I really don't think my colleagues or students would react that well to finding out that I wrote Harry Potter fanfic. There's a lot of anti-HP snobbery in academe.

Date: 2007-07-29 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alawston.livejournal.com
I largely use my real name all over the web, and it´s caused me trouble. A guy googled me DURING a job interview and got a profile on some site or other where I waxed lyrical about how much I hate ad sales. Guess what the job was.

I´ve also had a bit of trouble in the few vague attempts I´ve made to approach agents. I´m coming to the conclusion I´ll have to publish under a pen name, which is kind of sad.

Date: 2007-07-30 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Pardon me, a lurker, but I simply wanted to say congrats. When I first started reading fan fiction, I was fortunate enough to stumble across your Snape-centric fiction, which I loved. I'm a librarian and I fully intend to purchase Knife for my library. It's doubtful I would have made the connection between Knife and your fan fiction if you had decided to create seperate identities. So congrats again and I'm looking forward to reading your book!

Date: 2007-07-30 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thank you very much! I really appreciate your comment. And no worries, lurkers always welcome. :)

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