I’ve had quite a few people ask me recently why the new Mycroft series is all under the new pen name, Amelia Price, especially given that it says on all the covers ‘Jess Mountifield writing as’.
I’ll start with the first part of that question that’s sort of implied. Why am I using a pen name? It all comes down to one thing really. Up until recently, I only wrote books that I thought Christians would be comfortable reading. This didn’t mean the books I wrote fit into the Christian genre, absolutley none of them do, not even the Sherdan series, although that comes closest, but they were lacking any serious swearing and have no described sex scenes. A few of them have some praying and generally are about character’s bettering themselves.
Recently I realised I didn’t always want/feel like I ought to write books that fit that mold, and from the fan mail I get about the Sherdan series, it is quite evident that fans are already very particular about what they expect from books (expectations is probably a topic for another day but every single message I have ever had about the Sherdan series has included a section about how I did it ‘wrong’ because it doesn’t match up with their expectations of a Christian person).
Writing the Mycroft series under my pen name, Amelia Price is simply me saying, ‘whatever your expectations of my work are, check you’re going to like this new stuff’. You probably will. It’s still me writing it, it’s still mostly my voice, but the characters aren’t Christians. They’re trying to be good people, I think pretty much everyone in this world is, but they’re going to be different and if that’s not okay with you then no worries, I’ll still be writing under Jess Mountifield too.
So why the name Amelia Price? This was simply that I have a character called Amelia Jones in the Mycroft series and she’s one of my favourites. I also totally adore Anya Price in the Sherdan series. They’re like two halves of what I feel like I ought to be writing, so I smooshed their names together and thought Amelia Price sounded better than Anya Jones (I literally put that little thought into it, so please don’t read anything more into it).
Finally, why am I making it obvious it’s me on the Amelia Price covers? Because I think a good chunk of you won’t care that it’s different, or at least you won’t if you give it a try. It might not be quite what you expect, but when is anything really ever? And because I don’t want to pretend I write all clean happy Christian stuff and that there isn’t another side to what I write. I don’t view anything I’ve written as any more or less ‘right’ than anything else. Each book has characters learning about life in them. All of them make mistakes, all of them learn something and all of them begin in different places. I learnt something about life and how to live it writing all of them and in that respect they all have the same merit.
So in short, because they’re me, but a different side to me and you might like it, but you might not.