Friday, February 03, 2012

Secret Project Revealed

No, I'm not ready to reveal my pen name (I will eventually, so if you're interested when the time comes, we can chat). I am, however, ready to reveal my "top secret" project which I'll publish under my pen name.

The reason for a nom de plume in this particular case is two-fold. First, my current project (called WORM, see the WIP bar to the right) is such a departure from my light spec fic style that I feel the need to delineate between the two "writers." Deep down it's me (the philosophical and theological moorings are the same) but how I express myself artistically in this case will be much different. So different, in fact, those who know me might be shocked with the finished work.

Which leads to the second reason for me choosing a pen name. I'm concerned, a bit, as to what others might think. It's not that I'm ashamed of the project, but it is, let's say, for mature audiences only. As I mentioned on Tuesday, this serial novella (more on this below) contains violence, elements of abuse, foul language, and sexual situations. And, quite frankly, some Christians won't like it. There, I said it.

What sparked this line of thought was that a friend asked me awhile back if I was ever tempted to write something that wasn't, well, appropriate. I took that to mean erotica, and no I'm not interested. But it got me thinking that many religious readers make certain assumptions as to what qualifies as, well, appropriate. I don't think my current WIP would qualify.

But, now that I've talked it out (or blogged it out) I guess all I can really do is follow the vision I have for this story and let it stand (or fall) on its own merit. So here's what I'm thinking. Let me tell you about this project and once it's "ready for press" we'll consider revealing under whose name I've penned it. Fair enough?

Worm is the title character of four interrelated novellas (about 15k to 20k words each) that tells his story from his struggles as a high school drop out to...well, that's what readers will find out. Here's the blurb.

William Randall Monro, Worm to everyone who knows him, has tried to stand up for himself his whole life...and has failed miserably. Bullied and abused since first grade, 17 year old Worm has just about had it. When his mother's latest boyfriend crosses the line, Worm takes matters into his own hands, for better or worse. But mostly for worse.

I'll tighten that up but that should give you a taste of where we're headed. And if the finished work doesn't meet some readers' expectations then what can I do? What can you do, right? Let's just see what happens.


  1. Based on the blurb, the story sounds really interesting to me. And while some Christians may have issues with "appropriateness" I think much Christian fiction lacks the raw reality of secular writing. Can't wait to see how this turns out for ya!

  2. Thanks, Kat. I'll keep you posted. I think the premise is so current and in our national public school consciousness right now (bullying) that, even though the story is set in the early 80s, I believe it will really resonate with readers.

  3. I love your moxie, Lyndon. And I applaud you. There's nothing worse - in my opinion - than a thoroughly "Christian" novel that whitewashes human nature, the nature of evil and hence the nature of redemption. Sex for sex's Sex as an illustration of character -- good or bad -- works. Go for it.

    Intrigued with your nom de plume separating your (as of now) two voices. Been tempted in that direction myself...women aren't always taken seriously.

  4. This whole conversation (going on at various blogs in recent years) about what makes a Christian novel and/or Christian writer has been interesting to follow. Not sure if the label is even helpful, really. I think religious fiction (despite the generality of that, even) may be more helpful since one might expect that genre to be more "appropriate" for church audiences. Does that make sense?

  5. As for being a woman writer, I wouldn't know (even though going by Lyn does confuse some people, lol), but maybe that's one reason Rowling uses her initials and PD James, JD Robb, etc do as well. Hmm. Good topic for a blog post some time though.

  6. Frankly I think the idea of "Christian fiction" as a category has devolved into the same arena as "vampire romance" - a very targeted, precise genre. I'm a Christian and I write fiction, but I don't write "Christian fiction". The genre conventions that bind it aren't helpful for me.

    I sort of figure that if the Bible can talk frankly about sex, violence, and swearing (Saul yelling at Jonathan comes to mind) then so can I. Just because something is featured in the story doesn't imply I approve of it.

  7. Good points! Thanks for stopping by, Breanna.


Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)