nonymity or no anonymity, that is the question. Is it better to be recognized by one’s works and hailed as the writer one knows one is? Or better to not suffer the slings and stalks of those seeking one out…
Me, I’m of the second opinion. Why? I don’t see an advantage to letting the information go out, not just yet. If I find myself in a Fifty Shades of Grey success moment, then I have the option. But for now? Why damage my rep, especially since my novel Indigo could easily be re-rigged for the YA market? It doesn’t cost me anything to lurk.
On the other hand, I saw a woman who openly sold erotica at a local bookshow I tabled at. She had all sorts of lurid covers, hefted her breasts in their low-slung blouse and moved product. Her choice. She’s created a author-persona that favors it (it wouldn’t work if she looked like a troll doll). But there is always the chance that it comes back to bite her, either by bumping into someone at the show she’d rather this persona not appear before (i.e. an employer) or a fan decides he wants a more active simulation than the simple printed word.
I’ve kept it miles apart. So far, I’ve been pretty good. I think I blabbed to one fan in the blue zone about my books in the real world, and I’m counting on him to be discrete (all while kicking myself with that lever-arm boot mechanism hanging out back – pull the rope and kick yourself in the ass). But even that is not enough. Once, in an alternative-site blog entry, I mentioned that I’d enjoyed watching an old movie at a local cinema house. By searching around that date, one fan was actually able to place me in Orlando and asked if she would get a prize if she figured out who I was (I told her the prize would be my shutting down my site and ceasing all further efforts). That served as a wake up call. I don’t put ANY personal information up, even passing-personal information. Even as I’m writing this, I’m weighing the risks.
So that’s pretty much how this works. It comes down to deciding the risk/reward of being open with who you are to your blue-side fans. And it also involves considerations as to your employment, your family and, of course, your professional interest in writing.
But then again, don’t let yourself be scared away – who knows? You might find that it’s fun to do, and you might make some people very (very) happy. I need fan mail, regardless of its origins!