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Guest blogger: Elizabeth M Darcy

9 November 2014

Elizabeth M DarcyThe person behind the pen: Elizabeth M Darcy, aka HC Brown

I started out my life as an author about ten years ago. I did not intend to become a published author at the time. I wrote for the love of writing.

I wrote seven stories all over 110K, fantasy YA stories about witches and warlocks. I ended up having quite a following by sending email editions of the next chapter to a wide group of friends, but I never submitted a story to a publisher.

My writing at the time was not what is required today, although looking at one of the old manuscripts it was not too bad at all. I wonder now, if pursuing that genre would have changed my life as an author and perception of me as a person.

I eventually wrote a sweet historical romance, submitted it and received a contract offer from the first publisher on the proviso I added some spice to the book. I used my HC Brown pen name and from that day on I became labelled as an erotic romance author.

EMDarcy booksThis is how people perceive me, no matter what genre I write and I have over 50 published books in a wide variety of genres ranging from YA fantasy romance to M/M BDSM and everything in between.

My current release with Pan Macmillan, Momentum, is Unlocked, a science-fiction romance.

Last year, I wanted to break out of this persona and created Elizabeth M Darcy, a pen name for YA and sweeter romance, particularly historical romance. I have two novellas with this pen name—How I Dumped My Demon from Evernight Teen and Her Norman Conquest from Totally Bound.

The change of pen name gave me a very different fan base, but not the platform necessary to make the sales or make it out of the slush pile with any of the major publishers.

The next historical romance I wrote, I had a dilemma. Should I use the Elizabeth pen name and risk the chance of not receiving a contract for a beautiful sweet Highlander romance novel? Would my erotic romance readers buy a spicy historical romance? Well, after taking six months to write this story, I had fallen in love with the characters and thought it needed the best chance to succeed. I changed back to my HC Brown pen name and the story received a contract offer on the first submission. Luminosity Publishing UK will publish Highlander in the Mist on 21 November in print and ebook.

What I am saying here, is the genre does not reflect the person behind the pen. As Elizabeth or HC I am still the same person. If I write tender sweet love stories, does that make me more socially acceptable than if I write erotic romance?

The problem is it does.

The moral to my story is this:

1. If you plan to become an author, think long and hard before you pick your genre. How will it affect your social standing?

2. Remember reading fiction is just that … fiction—the author is a storyteller, writing to entertain you, not an axe murderer or a dungeon mistress … just a person trying to make a living.

I value and appreciate each and every one of my readers and please know I write each story especially for you.

Elizabeth M Darcy
HC Brown

Highlander in the MistHighlander in the Mist

Kate must decide to escape the horrors of 1425, or fight for the love of her delicious Highland warrior.

During a tour of the Highlands, Kate Mackintosh goes to the aid of a drowning boy and mysteriously slips through time to 1425. A stunningly handsome Highlander, who believes she is a faerie intent on stealing his brother, immediately challenges her and offers himself as the boy’s replacement. Rather than remaining alone on an isolated mountainside, she follows the delicious, Laird Alexander Murray to his Broch Lavern home.

Alone in a strange, brutal world, the noble Alex, offers her not only his protection but a love and passion so great, her longing to return home soon fades. However, the fate of the clan rests on Alex marrying Mary Frazer, and his stepmother insists on the match.

Kate must leave the love of her life or remain and risk torture or death to fight for her handsome Highland laird.

  1. 10 November 2014 9:10 am

    Hi! I’m a ‘yet to be published author’ or perhaps I should say ‘soon to be published just gotta finish the darned book first author’. I write historical romances and a prospective publisher suggested that I not use my actual name (which is the same as a well-known science fiction character). It was a struggle to find a name that melded with the genre in which I write and also that I would answer to. Did you have any struggles with this?

    • 14 November 2014 2:14 pm

      Well, I am H C Brown…real name. Elizabeth Darcy was my mum. I’m proud of every word I write and you should be too 🙂 Good luck with your book.

  2. Jeanie M permalink
    9 November 2014 2:39 pm

    Wow, that’s really interesting. I can see why two pen names are useful for different genres but as a reader, I’d follow my favourite authors to whatever they did. It sucks that you are labelled though! I would have hoped that labels are no longer needed in today’s society, but it seems it’s not the case 😦

    • 9 November 2014 8:22 pm

      Well, we shall see. Maybe I’ll get the crossover readers with Highlander in the Mist. It is funny, romantic and you’ll need a box of tissues in parts but I hope it will end up the first in a series. I love these characters 🙂

  3. 9 November 2014 11:32 am

    Thank you Joanne. I’m sure you will love this story .

  4. 9 November 2014 11:22 am

    Hi Heather – how interesting! Thanks for your honesty and insights into your two personas. I do agree that you need a different pen name when writing different sub-genres.

    Your highlander story had me at “time travel” and “Highlander” – sounds like a fab read.

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