Why I’m Using a Pen Name for Seeds of a New Birth

I’m working on the release of my next book — a SF techno-thriller entitled Seeds of a New Birth, due out by the end of October.  It won’t have my name attached to it.  The author’s name will be Orrin Jason Bradford — yep, I’m using a pen name for the first time.

Why’s that?  So glad you asked.

During the process of revising and polishing the book I’ve pondered whether to publish it under my name or to use a pseudonym.  You see, I originally wrote the book while I was still a small animal veterinarian — that’s, well, a few years ago (as in decades).  Now, don’t get me wrong. I still think it’s a very good book, especially since I’ve revised and polished it.  I know I was certainly entertained as I read it. In fact, blown away in several places since I’d forgotten much of the storyline.

But as I read it I also realized that it’s quite different from most of my other books in one very specific way — it has a fair amount of sex in it — quite explicit sex in fact.  Now, I don’t consider it gratuitous sex.  All the sexually oriented scenes are integral to the plot…and they’re there.  So, since I also write YA fantasy, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea that some of my YA readers would pick up Seeds of a New Birth thinking it was another light fantasy and be shocked by its content.

This actually happened to me a few years ago.  Amber, my daughter, was somewhere around ten or eleven at the time. I gave her a book by one of her favorite authors. She read it and said she really enjoyed it, so my wife, who also enjoys YA fiction decided to read it next.  Boy, was she shocked when she read the main character ‘going down’ on her boyfriend, in a much more graphic description than I’m going to give here. Turns out, this author wrote both YA fiction and adult fiction using the same name, and I had mistakenly given Amber one of her adult novels.  Yes, I’m still hearing about that one.

So, while I’m proud of Seeds of a New Birth, and I’m not trying to hide behind a pen name, I do want to make it clear that it’s not a YA fantasy.  It’s rated M for Mature Audiences.

You can read the opening chapter of Seeds of a New Birth right here. (The sex scenes occur later in the story)

Where Did the Names Come From?

No, the selection for my pen name was not random.  Orrin was my father’s name and although I don’t remember a lot about him since he died when I was six, I do know he loved me and that without him, there’d be no me, so I wanted to honor him in this way.

Jason is the name that came to me a few months ago when I underwent a past life regression hypnosis session.  I like the idea of having lived one or more prior lives so I wanted to honor the me from my past in this way.

Bradford – well, duh, that’s my real middle name.  I rarely use the whole name except in my writing and Ann and I liked the ring of these three names together.  So, meet my alter ego – Orrin Jason Bradford.

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