Introducing a New Pen Name: AM Sexton

After a great deal of debate, I’ve decided to publish Release under a slightly different pen name. I did not make this decision lightly. On the contrary, I’m sure I drove a few people absolutely nuts, hashing out the pros and cons again and again.

On one hand, starting over with a brand new pen name sounded daunting. And after all, Release does feature m/m themes. It’s not as if I’ll suddenly be publishing middle-grade graphic novels or upmarket women’s fiction under Marie’s name. And anybody who follows me on Twitter has already heard me talk incessantly about my dark, kinky, semi-cyberpunk. Everybody knows I’ve been working on this book for ages. So why not publish it as Marie?

I almost did. But I could already hear the angry cries of readers who bought Release expecting warm fuzzies and found cold, hard anger, instead. And that’s what really drove this decision. The truth is, Release is unlike anything I’ve ever written. The closest I’ve come is Oestend, or maybe Blind Space, but even those stories were gentle at heart. Even they had a seed of purity in their center. Release, though, is a different beast entirely. It’s dark and sexy, with corruption and a great deal of moral ambiguity at its core. It contains violent and graphic scenes that may be called dub-con. And although the overall arc of the series includes plenty of love, the first novel, Release, could never be called a romance.

In the end, after talking to close to a dozen of my friends about it, it was ZA Maxfield who finally convinced me. The best choice seems to be to somehow split the difference — publish the book under a new name, but one not too far removed from Marie. I decided on AM Sexton. I will continue to be absolutely open about the fact that AM Sexton and Marie Sexton are the same person, but I hope having a new name on the cover will underscore one very important point: THIS ISN’T CODA.

With all that being said, Release may not be a lighthearted romance, but it’s still me. I hope readers who decide to take a chance on this new series will find what they’ve come to expect from my work. I hope they’ll feel I’ve given them complex, emotional, well-developed characters, striving to make the best of a bad situation. I think my fans will see that I’ve poured my heart into this story. The name on the cover doesn’t change that. If you love genre mashups, darkly erotic AU, or extremely damaged heroes, I hope you’ll take a chance on Release.

Release will be published June of 2014. The sequel, Return, will be published in October of 2014.

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15 Responses to Introducing a New Pen Name: AM Sexton

  1. Pingback: L.A. Witt And Marie Sexton Are All Tied Up And Roped In, And We’ve Got Them Here With A Giveaway « The Novel Approach

  2. Dawn Roberto says:

    I love your books Marie and can’t wait to read Release. It sounds really interesting.

  3. Carole-Ann says:

    I don’t mind name changes for (slightly) different stories; so both books are added to my TBR list (thank you!).

    I find it very interesting that authors DO make name changes for books which don’t (usually) reflect their genre/trope, but it’s NEVER stopped me from following them up :D I suppose I’m just an avid follower :)

    *Hugs*

  4. I missed that Release would be the first in a new series–now I’m looking forward to it even more!

    Thanks for sharing your thought process about pen names. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about, and it helps to hear all the reasons and opinions surrounding their uses. :)

  5. Maygirl7 says:

    I’m really excited to check out Release and meet this other side of your writing. I loved the Coda series, but I also love reading dark angry stories. Sometimes gentle just doesn’t work.

  6. HJ says:

    It should also work the other way – people who love Release and Return will be able to find your other books, but will know that they’re different. I’m all in favour of authors using different but non-opaque pen names to differentiate their work. I think it’s very helpful to readers, and enables authors to explore new boundaries while not losing the goodwill they’ve built up in their identity.

  7. Kelly says:

    I am actually really looking forward to reading this.

  8. Cris says:

    It sounds interesting, if not my usual fare! I’ll definitely give it a shot, you’ve earned the benefit of the doubt after how unexpectedly hard i fell for the Oestend books :). And if I don’t care for it, I can’t say I was misled.

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