Red Series

Monday, 15 February 2016

Mish Mash Week Five and Getting Personal: Out of the Writing Closet #LGBT

Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme sharing your thoughts and happenings. You just grab a button and create your post. Sure I guess I write it differently from most but moving on....

1. I have all sorts of stuff going on:

A) More in Getting Personal

B) Freelance work is ongoing. Thank God.

2. Anticipating the arrival of Glass Sword. It was mailed in advance of the release date so hopefully it will reach me this week. Fingers Crossed.

3. Still have to get the smell out of books that got wet after the grand bathroom flood. Plumber #2 finally fixed what was really going on. Bit me Plumber #1. From me and my books. Plus it was just luck both times I stayed up late writing. Of course the cracks that make the water seep into my room sucks ass but still...

4. Lots and lots of writing. YAY!!!? Get out of here question mark!

5. Tuesday is Deadpool. Boom.

Getting Personal: Out of the Writing Closet

You guessed it! I'm closing my Roe pseudonym in favor of writing all my YA under my real name without separating my upcoming LGBT novels. Wait? That wasn't your guess? Um...okay.

When I had decided upon the pseudonym and the separation years ago there were various reasons.

I. I was still on the fence on some aspects of the lgbt community. While no longer on the path of just silently condemning all gays to hell I still was unsure about a lot of things. Where I live there is not much talk about the positive side of the non-heterosexual lifestyle. A straight girl like myself can only make so much decisions with limited information.

2. My family was a concern. I have chosen the shocking man-less lifestyle and not dropped any babies via the Virgin Mary Method (don't you dare God. I love and worship you but no, NO). While this has been thankfully accepted by my traditional life givers it was very doubtful seeing my name under a book written with anything homosexual or otherwise related would be acceptable.

3. There was so much talk about branding and writing only a particular type of book under one name. Worse there were claims that writing under too many genres with one name might turn off publishers and back then I was very interested in one day getting a traditional publisher.

4. Yada, Yada, Yada.

So what changed you must be wondering?

Maybe a little like that. So early last week I went looking at a publishing site to see if they were doing anymore special submissions. Just to realize they had stopped doing those. Oh well. So I went trolling around the site looking at a bunch of their published stuff then noticed something. There were nearly no males, especially with the fantasy which was just a female looking a man even when it had nothing to do with the story. Seriously? Shoe-horned romance is not cool. I decided then that I would come up with something to wow these people.

Because after multiple delays of my self published works I am clearly the shit. First one is coming by June 2016 folks.

After much percolating I decided to post my idea to Twitter where all the unique people dwell and not drowning on Facebook. By then it had become a sort of fantasy/magical realism novel idea. The MC was a merman, he was gay living where that was not allowed, he would flee to our land world where he won't be forced into an arranged marriage. That was the start. To my surprise this quickly got several likes and even retweeted. It was like #Arrow had just mike dropped outside Wednesday night (I do top notch work with those live tweets). So I started then by Friday I took out everything and wrote one new sentence. 

Sunday I decided to share that sentence on Twitter and I swear my mind exploded. First I got two likes very popular LGBT Twitter Accounts. Nice. Then I got five new followers in quick succession along with a bunch of other stuff. For one tweet in my life that is mind blowing. So happy. #TornMerman. 

Then I got to thinking about my writing and my mind honestly went to the fact that we don't have nearly enough mainstream LGBT fiction out there. Not at the forefront anyway. Times are changing but it's still hard to really find lgbt fiction that gets top billing outside LGBTQA websites and book recommendations and interviews. Sorry but what drives a fanbase to the top is the ground movement from fans like with Harry Potter, Red Queen, and so on. Plus great marketing. Sadly a lot of lgbt works gets a temporary buzz, a pat on the back and only the medium fanbase left still talking about it months later. Notice how many lgbt books topping book recommendation lists? Award nominations for books in the mainstream? Not many and there are a really good amount of LGBT books out there not getting nearly enough due. 

That was when I realized I was part of the problem.

By having a separate name for just my LGBT YA books while keeping mine for others I was stating that something was somehow wrong or different with those books. The realization was quite jarring. I came to the quick decision to close my Roe accounts. I'll be doing one last post on Roe is Writing for a blogfest then I'm done. I will leave the blog up, get rid of the barely used Facebook writing account and find new use for the Twitter one.


I will be keeping my adult LGBTQA pseudonym Royme. In that case I feel that the true freedom to write adult novels of varying degrees is best served with the pseudonym to avoid any publisher I might work with in the future getting concerned about my real name being on books about fierce pirates, sexual rebels or *gasp* human trafficking on an alien planet. I know, I know. The controversy. 

Okay that girl with the brush is kind of scary. Okay. Really Scary.

There. I feel much better now. 

So I write anything I want under my real name now. Except for some hard core naughty bits. Though I kind of hit that by transferring my upcoming first NA novel from Roe. Horror here I come. Better yet Huntress the star of book one is now black and has an Afro. Eat your heart out readers. No seriously she is a flesh eater and hunts humans. She would really eat your heart. So yeah I only publish the tame things under my real name. Riiiiiight.

Breaking News: Literally today (Monday) 12: 17 a.m. while finishing this up for post I checked my Twitter and realized I got a new follower just four minutes ago. A writer of lgbt fiction. The support is real!!

With all that how can I not be completely true to my writing life and throw all doubt out the window?

Thank you all who stopped by and read this whole thing. The title for my merman novel in progress is The Torn Merman and I will be featuring a preview in March on Wattpad. It was so nice of you to read along as I shared my feelings and thoughts. May the writing world continue to expand and bring us more books about all types of people.

Oh and you can go to Roe is Busy Writing to see my final post and check out my Musefest Entry.


For those looking to contact me:

Twitter: @queendsheena

Facebook: Just go to twitter. Okay, Okay. Sheena-kay 

Facebook Author: Sheena-kay Graham

Royme: Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LJ 


  1. We just published GLASS SWORD last week here :) As you know I translated it and hated every second of it LOL Probably the least talented writer I've ever worked on. Has a talent of a 10 year old writer.

    1. PS congrats on progressing on the novel

    2. Dezzzmeister! You're stealing my thunder! I was about to say the exact same thing. Well, almost.

    3. Sorry it's not for you Dez but at least people are reading. Thanks for the congrats and I would definitely want you as a proof reader for my complete work Dez. If you gave it an okay I would know I'm on the right path for sure. :)

  2. Hope you like Glass Sword. I heard great things about it. And sounds like you are making some important steps as a writer.

    1. Funny enough my spanking new copy of Glass Sword arrived in the mail today. Indeed it is very important as a writer to know what is needed to be done for your work and name.

  3. Makes complete sense to me about your pen name. I have one for my romance only because I write children's books and I don't want little ones seeing my name on a romance and thinking the book would be good for them. Pen names are great when they make sense. :)

    1. Agreed Kelly. Neither of us need angry parents mail. Fan mail but not that. :)

  4. You write anything you want under your real name now. Well, good for you.

    How was Deadpool?

    1. Thanks Blue. I meant Tuesday as in tomorrow but will drop my thoughts on Deadpool after seeing it. I am super excited.

  5. Personally, I don't have the time or the organizational skills to properly be me, much less add in a persona.

    You be you, girl, I love ya no matter what. <3

    1. Lol Liz, between you and me neither do I. But we do what we must and correct the errors later. Aww, being me is great and same to you. :)

  6. I think one name is a good idea for a variety of reasons--but mostly it's because your success with one book will lead to the success of others. If a reader likes what she reads in one book, she's going to look to see what else you've written and maybe even buy everything else from you. If you have it divided under different names, you'll always be segmenting your audience.

  7. I think a pen name for writing under a different genre is a great idea! Glad you got your leak fixed as well, that sucks.

  8. I think, for the reasons you shared, that you've made the right call. :-)

  9. Wow, you weren't kidding when you said you have a lot going on! I think your decision re: the pen name is great and it sounds like it's already reaping benefits re: your new follower. I've considered writing my children's story under a pen name but realized it's just not right for me, I have enough trouble getting my own name out there let alone a new one. Sounds like things are really coming together for you with all of your projects. Good luck!

  10. i never knew! and i never thought about all the pseudo-nym drama. the way i look at it, people are gonna judge, judge, judge, no matter what name you put on it! i have a similar problem - i want to write more diversely, but i have no good perspective for it. research isn't the same as living it! i try not to use stereotypes so i don't offend because characters are supposed to break them, right?

    congrats on your releases! i'm going to go follow you on wattpad right now!

  11. Change is inevitable. I'm with Elizabeth up there--conserve energy and be yourself, eh?

  12. I think it's pretty cool that you're writing under your own name. My friend has an LGBT book and it's doing pretty well. She uses a pen name, but for the choice of keeping her private life completely separate from her online life. She doesn't have anything under her real name.

    I hope everything goes well for you!

  13. You know, I always thought it would be a good idea to write my different genres under different pennames, but you hit the nail straight on the head. I write everything under one name, though if I ever delve into erotica, I might use a penname for that. Mostly because I wouldn't want family members bothering me about that.

  14. Congrats on your decision. You have my full support and I look forward to your series of LGBT books. Cheers! ~Lori Carlson~

  15. Congrats on getting out there, and I hope it goes well.


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