Favorites Are Re-readable

I have a lot of favorite authors. Then there are all the authors I really like, but I can’t quite call them favorites, because to me, favorites are re-readable.

No, not just re-readable, favorites write books that I actively seek out to reread.

Amanda Quick has many books in this category for me, including Ravished, Deception, and Mistress. Just thinking about those books often tickles my desire to go find them on my shelves and read them again.

The same for David Eddings’ Belgariad series, or L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Recluce books.

Another favorite that writes books I want to reread is Johanna Lindsey. Angel Warrior’s Woman, Gentle Rogue, and Deny Not the Heart are still books that I go back to as comfort reads to this day, years (+20! years) later. (I happen to have the paperback editions with the original Fabio covers and my children will have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.)

But there are some authors who write great books that I really love but that I just never seem to want to reread. I don’t know what to call these authors, because they don’t fit my favorites definition, but they by all means write fantastic book.

It’s a quandary. Because for whatever reason, I have no desire to go back and read their books again.

Eloisa James, for instance, is one of these authors. I love her books, and I seek them out, but I never have that desire to reread any of them and I’m not sure why. Her books are usually excellent reads, and I like the characters (most of the time), but there’s not a single one of her books I can point to and say I want to read again.

That’s why you’ll find a limited assortment of favorites here. Because great books do not necessarily make favorite books. Favorites are those I want to reread.

Which reminds me. I’ve had a hankering for that opening in The Martian again, so I think I’ll go dig it out of my Kindle. I do have a paperback edition of The Martian that I really like (trade sized and very flexible) but it’s upstairs in the office I’m trying to convert to a library, a project that’s been in the works for about a year because I haven’t found the particular bookshelves I want and need to finish the project.

Favorites are worth buying in print—you know, in case civilization falls and I have only enough power to keep a flashlight charged for rereading the books I already love. ;)

How do you decide what makes a favorite?

Jayne Ann Krentz Pseudonyms

Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, Stephanie James, Jayne Bentley, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass

Shield's Lady by Amanda Glass (Jayne Ann Krentz)
Shield's Lady is the only novel written by Jayne Ann Krentz as Amanda Glass

Jayne Ann Krentz is a prolific author and she uses several other names to author her books. Many authors use different names for their books depending on what type of book it is and these days, that’s exactly what JAK does with her other author names. Jayne Krentz currently writes under three distinct names, and she has a few older pseudonyms too that she doesn’t use any longer.

Jayne Ann Krentz
Krentz uses this one for contemporary romantic suspense and she also used to write for Harlequin Temptation, many of my favorites including The Family Way.
Jayne Castle
These days, as Jayne Castle, JAK writes futuristic paranormal romance in which the characters have psychic powers. Once, this pseudonym wrote series romance and other contemporary romance novels.
Amanda Quick
Under this name, Jayne Ann Krentz writes historical romance novels. I’ve only ever read one that didn’t have a strong suspense or mystery element to it and that is Scandal, which is actually one of my top five favorites.
Stephanie James
This pseudonym has been inactive, but many of the titles written under this name have been rereleased. Most of Jayne Ann Krentz’s works under the name of Stephanie James were written for Silhouette Desire.
Amanda Glass
[inactive, rereleased title as Jayne Ann Krentz]
Jayne Bentley
[inactive]
Jayne Taylor
[inactive]

More on Jayne Ann Krentz’s pseudonyms

I ran across an interesting post today, where author Jayne Ann Krentz explains her three names. I’ve got a page on this site devoted to her pseudonyms, so I thought this was a relevant topic. I’ve also previously discussed my thoughts about authors and pseudonyms from a readers perspective in my post titled The Art of the Pseudonym. I specifically talked about Jayne Ann Krentz’s efficient use of pseudonyms and asked a few questions she’s answered in her post JAYNE EXPLAINS HER THREE NAMES.

I said:

I wonder sometimes how much of Jayne Krentz’s decision to go forward with the Arcane Society series was simply a decision to find a good way to cross-promote her different books. Maybe at this point she wishes she were using only one name. I can’t say and I shouldn’t speculate, because I can’t know the answer without asking, and I probably won’t do that.

I never did ask…but someone must have.

She said:

Yes, if I had it to do it over again, I would have stuck with one name. But what’s done is done. So I have concocted a brilliant rationale for my three names, one that makes it look like a shrewd, well-thought out career choice rather than the result of a lot of bumbling and pratfalls along the way.

How refreshing to finally know the answer. :)

The Art of the Pseudonym

Jayne Krentz has made her pseudonyms work for her. Even now, when many of her books’ themes are starting to overlap–contemporaries with psychic elements, historicals with paranormal leanings, and futuristics with both paranormal, science-fiction, and psychic turns–she has a distinct use for each pseudonym. I’m not sure how many other authors have followed her lead with the use of pseudonyms, but I can name several who have done the same, years after Jayne Krentz split herself into three different authors.

Nora Roberts began writing futuristic romance/mystery under the name J.D. Robb. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes paranormal romance, but using the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor, she writes historical romance novels.

I’m not taking real names into consideration, because I’m most interested in why authors’ write books under different names, not why they don’t choose to use their real names on their books.

Heather Graham Pozzessere used Heather Graham Pozzessere for her category romance novels. She branched out into single title romance and suspense with Heather Graham. She writes historical and paranormal romance as Shannon Drake, but she also used to write historical romance under the name Heather Graham, and she did write some single title suspense as Heather Graham Pozzessere. So how does one differentiate between Heather Graham’s pseudonyms? To me, this isn’t nearly as efficient and artful as Jayne Krentz’s use of pseudonyms.

Jayne Krentz differentiates her books by time period with her pseudonyms. She continues to publish contemporary romance novels under her Jayne Ann Krentz name. She publishes paranormal/science-fiction romance set in the future on worlds other than Earth under her Jayne Castle name. Using Amanda Quick, she publishes historical romance fiction, mostly set in the Regency or Victorian era, but she’s also published several medieval era romance novels as Amanda Quick.

There was a time when the delineation between her books was stronger. Her contemporaries weren’t very paranormal, but now, with the Arcane Society series, she’s blurred the lines between her style of books. This isn’t a bad thing. She’s able to use her strengths from each type of book and combine them into one strong series.

Some authors don’t see the need to separate their books. L.E. Modesitt Jr. writes both fantasy and science fiction under his one author name. I haven’t read any of his science fiction, and I’ve never been surprised by picking up a book that I thought fit into his fantasy worlds but was in fact a science fiction story.

I wonder sometimes how much of Jayne Krentz’s decision to go forward with the Arcane Society series was simply a decision to find a good way to cross-promote her different books. Maybe at this point she wishes she were using only one name. I can’t say and I shouldn’t speculate, because I can’t know the answer without asking, and I probably won’t do that.  :)

I think if an author chooses to use a pseudonym, the way Jayne Krentz has used them is a great way to do so.

What do you think about it? I don’t mind when authors write different types of books under one name, even if those books are very different, although I do like consistency too. What about you?