Edith, north of Boston
As most of you know, I now write under three names: my birth name, Edith Maxwell, which is on the Local Foods Mysteries and my short stories. My Lauren Rousseau Mysteries pseudonym, Tace Baker (who also has her own web site). And my Country Store Mysteries identity, Maddie Day. I have an historical series I want to sell, too.
I wanted to be sure my web site reflected all these identities and all these series, and my previous one wasn’t cutting it. The banner was made up of my book covers, but that meant it had to change every time a new book came out, and there were other issues. I started drafting a new site a couple of months ago, but wondered what I could use for a banner, for a common theme.
So, as often in the mystery world, I went looking to my friends for help. I checked out Sheila Connolly‘s new site, since she writes three series, although all under the same name. Doesn’t it have a great look?
I looked at Catriona McPherson‘s site – she writes one series and one line of standalones, but also all under a single name. I love those crows.
And I checked out Leslie Budewitz‘s site – she writes two series under one name. Isn’t that an evocative painting?
What I saw was a unifying graphic. In the latter two, the art doesn’t necessarily represent the settings of the book, but rather the author. In Sheila’s, there are pictures of the places where her series are set: Ireland, Philadelphia, and small-town Massachusetts.
I considered hiring an artist to create a banner for me, either with pictures or art. Then I looked at the wall in my office and realized I had it right there.
My dear friend Jennifer Yanco (a published non-fiction author) commissioned Boston-area artist Jackie Knight to paint a picture for my sixtieth birthday a couple of years ago. It’s titled “Edith’s World.” It’s mysterious and imaginative and gorgeous. It doesn’t look like any one of my series or names, but instead represents me and my work. Right?
And then, because I could, I made up business cards, note pads, and even a few mugs. So I have my brand, I have my new web site, and I have a lovely connection to the friend I have known and journeyed with for almost forty years!
The pen names are on the web site on each series’ page and on the business cards, in case anybody needs to find one of my selves.
Heck, maybe tee shirts are next…
Readers: Can you find other examples of multi-name multi-series web sites you like? Any suggestions for my new site? (Be brutal!)