The green growth of the tulips that line my backyard have begun to push through the thawing earth, birds have returned, and bugs have somehow found their way into my house.
Behold the glories of spring.
Spring always brings changes with it, most of them wonderful (not you bugs!). In the half year long frozen tundra that is the Midwest, we’ll finally be able to venture back outside. Play with our children on swing sets. Visit the zoo. Start exercising again and some of us may possibly get our skin to a deeper tint than my ever Casper white (there’s no hope for me).
For me, this spring also ushers in a professional change to my book publishing journey.
When I first started writing I was told again and again that I could only write one genre if I wanted to be successful. This always left me feeling a bit off kilter because I have passions for different genres (and I read many different genres). I’m a diehard sweet romance fan—for me, romance has to be in every book I read or write or else I really don’t enjoy the story. But more often than not, my nightstand is full of young adult fiction (often in the speculative fiction realm = fantasy, sci-fi, and fairytales). Add also that I love researching history and adore well done historical romance.
Boy, do I have fractured tastes. They just go everywhere. And I decided I wasn’t going to kill any of them because I had stories to tell that touched all the genres I love.
So I wrote them. My books published with Love Inspired are sweet, inspirational romance. My TimeShifters series is young adult speculative fiction. And my Spies of Chicago series is sweet romance that has entwined contemporary and historical storylines.
I’ve been blessed to find amazing readers who read across the board. But some have also reached out to me because they’re confused. Teens have connected with me on Twitter saying that they’re interested in reading Saving Yesterday, but they saw I write “religious fiction” and are worried that my young adult books might just be preaching (which they are not, they are straight, normal, young adult fiction). Some of my faithful readers of my inspirational romances read Saving Yesterday and said they were sad to find that God’s not mentioned.
These interactions have showed me that maybe those people who told me to write one genre were right—in a sense (I can be a bit stubborn). While I still will be writing both sweet romance and young adult fiction, I need to have a clear way to show they are different brands (for lack of a better word). My young adult fictions don’t fit under the label of “Christian book” and I don’t want them to. That was never my intention.
Where does this all lead? I’m glad you asked!
Enter…my alter ego: Jess Evander (where’s my cape??). I’m moving my young adult fiction to all be published under the name Jess Evander, this includes my TimeShifters series. So if you love young adult fiction, look for me under that name (it’s already live on Amazon) but if you’re interested solely in my inspirational fiction, then I’m Jessica Keller to you. And if you’re like me and read across the board, then I’ll answer to both for you! And releases for both will always be in my newsletter.
I’m still in the process of fully switching everything over to Jess Evander, but hope to have everything functioning by April 1st. Jess Evander has her own (very stripped down) website, Facebook profile (search “Jess Evander”), Twitter. They’re landing places for people who don’t know me as Jessica Keller, but I’ll only be blogging from this site.
Thank you for being a part of this ever evolving adventure with me!