Sunday, August 7, 2011

New name, new blog, new lease on a writing life

I've been meaning to do this for quite some time now. Over the past few months, I've been contemplating a full change in my writing life. If you've been following me since the beginning, you'll know that my first six novels were written under my pseudonym, John Fitch V, and since the start of 2011, I've released five novels -- seriously Sean, five novels in one year? -- under my real name, Sean Sweeney.

For the most part, the books weren't selling well under that name: sure, I sold a few copies here and there, and I tallied 689 books sold in 2010, all under the JFV name. Maybe it was due to the fact I had crap covers, or my writing (then) was crap, or the fact that I self-promoted myself ad naseum, that I didn't sell more. That's a debate for a different time.

But after I created Jaclyn Johnson and switched genres, I felt a change was needed. I wanted Jaclyn to succeed. With the "animosity" I inadvertently stirred up as JFV, I had the feeling Jaclyn wouldn't have found the audience she has now if I stuck with JFV. I had Trish put Sean Sweeney on the cover of Model Agent, and voila. It made sense to stick with the real name on the books once Jaclyn started selling the way she did.

To be honest, I struggled with this decision. Making the change would mean making a lot of other changes: Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my website, everything. There was the possibility of adding "Sean Sweeney writing as John Fitch V" on Royal Switch's cover in order to connect Turning Back The Clock to it, but I just thought that would have caused way too much confusion. In looking back, I think I caused quite a bit of confusion by going back to my real name in the first place. Last week's troubles with LiveJournal accelerated the thought process and brought me to this point.

I had a fun run under the JFV name. I wrote six novels under that name, as I said, as well as a few short stories and a novella. Not bad. JFV was a stage in my life. I originally intended it to be my writing persona for life, but with age and maturity, thoughts and perceptions change. It was a persona that I enjoyed, but I didn't enjoy being called "John" on Facebook or on the phone. Sean is who I am, and who I will continue to be. And while I will still sell the JFV novels as JFV (he lives on in the past!), today marks the beginning of the end of the JFV name. I switched my Twitter account a few months ago, and today I started a new Sean Sweeney, Author fan page on Facebook. You're on the new blog, which means I'll no longer use LiveJournal (I'll keep the page alive for archives, but I won't use it). The JFV Facebook pages will be deactivated soon. I will have a new website by the end of the year, which will effectively end my tenure as JFV. I'm sure there will be some tears when the change goes through, but I'll wipe them away and get writing again.

If you've been with me as John and continue to follow me as Sean, thank you for your support over the years. We've had a lot of fun, and we'll have some more under my real name. For those of you just joining me, thanks for hopping aboard. I promise a ride you're never forget.

I am and always will be,