A while back, I thought I’d write science fiction under a different name. The idea was to write about something other than cops, thugs, and ordinary folk with rage control problems without bringing the baggage of crime fiction to those stories. I didn’t want to write about multitentacled beings coming to Earth and pondering the existential mysteries of cheeseburgers and have people ask, “Hey, where’s the sarcastic guy with the Glock who sounds like he’s from a Tarantino flick?”
Then a friend of mine said, “Why do you want to do twice the work?”
When I first pondered this idea, I thought I would keep crime fiction going as Jim, making this other alter-ego my Dick Bachman to the Steve King that is Winter. (And if you know the full story behind that, it gets even more convoluted.) That’s right. I wanted my Dick to write a novel. I was going to go the traditional route with those.
So why is that twice the work? Aside from writing in two genres?
Simple. Jim Winter has been online and in convention circles since about 2000. The new name?
2011 is not the time to go into New York or small press with no name if you don’t have to. I’m not saying I’m too famous to be someone else and can write whatever I want and have it sell. II’d have to rebrand, which is risky even for a brand as obscure as mine.
I know a lot of writers who get sick of reading about the business side of writing, but this is reality. You have to face it if you’re putting your work out there. Besides, I’ve noticed most writers who talk about “The Process” are basically flapping their gums trying to avoid writing. I have more creative and productive ways to procrastinate. (After all, while you’re putting stuff off, it’s a great time to do all that other stuff you’ve been putting off. I digress.)
Getting back to my original point, I also don’t have time to do all that businessy stuff twice over or even start again from scratch. I’m older, wiser, and somewhat more jaded about The Business and The Process now. I gotta be me, as me, the way I’ve presented me to the world thus far.
So in between tales of drug dealers and crooked politicians and gun play, I will be expounding on FTL flight and alien sex and geo-politics on an interstellar scale. As me.
My Dick will not be writing a novel as originally planned.