20 Mar Children’s Authors Making Waves in Adult Books
Crossing over genres is an undertaking that many writers and authors try to resist. Going from mystery to horror to romance is all part of the writing mystique and accomplished with regular effectiveness, but when writers jump from children’s literature into adult novels or vice versa the results can be less than stellar. It is a risky proposition for sure. Daniel Handler is one author that has successfully made the jump by using a clever pen name, smart marketing, and altering writing styles.
Clever Pen Name
Handler is probably better known by the author name Lemony Snicket, because the series written under that guise “A Series of Unfortunate Events” has sold millions upon millions of copies. However by separating his works with a pen name and his real name, the author has managed to create something of dual identities. Basically, adults do not realize the author was noted for children’s books and kids do not try to read something geared toward adults. The move also allows the writer to shift identities and personalities, which is a major asset in sparking creativity.
Authors have to adapt writing styles for the specific audience. While word choice and technique lead the way, style changes can include detail levels, plot complexity, and other intricacies that appear in the book. If done well, the reader can barely tell that two books under two completely different names were written by the same person. This task is tough to accomplish, because authors spend years or decades developing their unique styles. In takes a special writer to manage to jump styles and genres.
Perhaps the most important aspect of becoming a successful adult and children’s author involves marketing campaigns. Often avoiding being branded as a particular style of author is important to a writer’s career, and using one success to launch another could work against one of the books. Only writers with clear and effective marketing strategies can pull the task off, but when it does work, the results can be pretty impressive.
In the end, a clever pen name, a change of writing style, and some intelligent marketing can help propel a writer into a new genre. Having one book appeal to readers of all ages is difficult and rare, which means some sort of alteration is necessary to pull it off successfully. Few writers have managed to do it as well as Lemony Snicket.