writing

I’m taking on a pen name

After writing for ten years and in seven different genres under my name, Danielle Bannister, I have FINALLY wised up to the very real problem of brand confusion. Am I a suspense writer? Do I write spicy romance, small-town romance, or Young Adult romance? And let’s not forget the fantasy trilogy and that paranormal one-off… and didn’t I write a short story collection, too?

It’s a bit much, Danielle.

It’s no wonder my readers and the algorithms are confused. I am too! And I wrote them all!

Now, one solution would be what many authors do: pick a genre and stay there. Readers learn what to expect from you, and if they like what you do, they keep coming back for more. You don’t see Stephen King dabbling in romance. He knows his brand. He stays in his lane.

The problem with picking a lane, however, is that you have to feel comfortable forever writing in that genre. And clearly, I’m not. Ha. So, my first assignment: Look at the genres I write in and see what ones (if any) I’d feel okay not writing in again.

  • Short Stories (You’re fun, but maybe I can use you in my newsletter instead.)
  • Paranormal (You were sooooo hard to write. You made my brain hurt. So, bye.)
  • Fantasy (Without Amy’s help, the world building is just too much for my noggin.)
  • YA (Although I have a draft of one more, I’m okay to let this one go.)

That just left the romance genres. And those I could lump together in a more logical way. The clear divide of the romance books was some stories were primarily romance-driven and some were suspense-driven with romantic undertones.

With that division in mind, I have decided I’ll use Danielle Bannister for my suspense-driven stories going forward and a pen name for my romance-driven stories.

My suspense-driven name

Now, what, you ask is that new romantic-driven pen name going to be? Well, I wanted something that wasn’t so obscure that past readers would never find me, nor did I think I’d be able to maintain a whole new personal (that just seems like too much work.) So, I settled on a version of my name for my romances going forward. Let me introduce you to Dani Bannister.

Awww, love birds. Get it?

Starting in 2022, you’ll start to see Dani Bannister titles come out. If you see that name, you can expect a story that is primarily and unapologetically a romance. If you see Danielle Bannister, you know you’ll be reading something that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

What about my back titles? Will I change the names on those? Probably. Maybe. Eventually. It’s NOT an easy task to change an author’s name on an existing title. It can be done, it’s just tedious and time-consuming, and I’d rather work on new titles. But, probably. In time, I will sort those to their appropriate names.

Now, what does that mean for you a reader? Will you have to follow a new website, social media chain, or subscribe to a new newsletter? No. At least I hope not. My plan is to keep everything just as it is. I’ll create a separate page here on my website for Dani Bannister books once the first title releases, but I’ll continue to post both projects on my normal channels because I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for that right now. If that changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for the first Dani Bannister title that will be revealed next month. 🙂

Danielle Bannister a.k.a. Dani Bannister, author and pen name holder.

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