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Writing Under Two (or More!) Personas

If you know me really well, you'll know that I write under several different pen names. Some I am open about. Some I am not. The top question I get is, "Why?" So I thought I'd invite another author to explain what it's like when both your funny and serious side are struggling to come out on the page at once. Please welcome Anna Staniszewski to the blog!

I’ll be honest. Writers tend to have multiple personalities. We not only spend a lot
of time talking to ourselves, but many of us also work on projects that are so
different, they might as well have been written by different people. For some of
us--like Cyn--we even write under different names for different

When I first set out to get published, my work was DARK. Think isolated villages with
corrupt leaders and post-apocalyptic landscapes. Ultimately, one of those
projects was able to get me an agent, but none of them managed to find a
publisher. Luckily, I had another part of my writing personality--one I hadn’t
really explored yet--that “wrote funny.”

As my agent and I were struggling to sell one of my dark projects, I was writing aprank list cover 2
wacky story about fairy tales. I was very lucky when we found a publisher who
not only liked it but wanted me to write more. Since then, I’ve written several
more “funny books” for Sourcebooks, but funnily enough, each of my series has
gotten a little darker.

In The Dirt Diary series, the character is dealing with divorce, bullying, and
identity issues--all told in a light, funny way. Meanwhile, the book that I’m
working on next, I’m With Cupid, is about a girl reaper and a boy cupid who
accidentally swap powers. Dark? Yes. Funny? I hope so!

I guess it’s taken me a while to find a way to combine my dark persona with my
funny persona, but I’m excited that it’s finally happened. I think my dark
projects might have been taking themselves too seriously before; maybe they were
waiting for me to develop another writing personality that would finally make
them work.

Anna's Bio:

Anna StaniszewskiBorn in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving
stories in both Polish and English. Currently, she lives outside Boston with her
husband and their crazy dog. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time
reading, daydreaming, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the
author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series. Her
newest book, The Prank List, released on July 1st from Sourcebooks. You can visit Anna at www.annastan.com .

So what do you think? Do you write under more than one persona? Why?

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