Kind of like Jekyll and Hyde
The Globe and Mail profiles Craig Davidson, who also writes horror thrillers under the pen name Nick Cutter, and wonders if multiple writing streams is the way of the future for writers.
The unholy coupling of Craig Davidson and Nick Cutter points to a potential solution. If you can’t survive as a novelist in Canada, what about as two? Or three, for that matter?
I’m not sure the recent trend toward using pen names — Michael Redhill also springs to mind for his Inger Ash Wolfe books, and you may have heard of Peter Roman — is a result of writers trying to diversify their income so much as it is embracing the collapse of the genre walls in publishing. It used to be that if you were a writer of serious literary fiction, that had better be all you write. Similarly, if you wrote fun, crowd-pleasing genre fiction, you’d best stay away from that literary crap that may be good for you but tastes awful. These days, it seems readers are OK with writers who can do more than one thing — and why not? We all love fast food and fine dining, right? We all watch brainless TV sitcoms and smart movies. So why can’t we all read fast-paced fun thrillers and smart, well-crafted literary books?
That was the case when I began to write under the Peter Roman pen name. It certainly wasn’t a financial decision — I’d be better off working overtime at my other job. It was just trying to keep myself entertained by writing things of a different flavour. As it turns out, readers liked the Cross books as well as my literary fiction — and maybe even a bit more. I’m now in the midst of writing more Peter Roman books than Peter Darbyshire books, but sometimes you just discover that favourite dish….
Anyway, check out Davidson’s books — he’s one of the best damned writers I’ve ever encountered. Whatever name he’s using.