I've been writing horror, paranormal, and paranormal mystery under the name Scarlett Dean.
Now I'm working on a straight up suspense, and I'm wondering if I should use a different name? S. Dean?
What do you think?

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How about Dean Scarlett?
Thanks. I might just do that!
I'm not sure you need a pen name. If you started writing YA books, maybe, because the genre would be so completely different.
I think S. Dean--maybe with a middle initial thrown in--might be the perfect compromise. That way, your new book will be shelved right beside your others, but the new designation will help to prevent fan confusion.
If it's gonna be good---use my nom de plume; Cliff Dennis. Seriously, I would change names for genres'---unless, your best-selling off the shelves.
Think about what the computers at Amazon Dot Com and other places are going to with similar names. I understand that the live writer Dean James went to something completely different because of the confusion with the dead actor James Dean. And I once ordered a book that I absolutely did not want because of author confusion -- how can there be two writers in the same field with an identical odd name and the publisher not catch it before the second author was published? Even Margaret Millar and John Millar used different names and she kept his (seems unfair) and he went to Ross Macdonald.
I use one name (Sam Reaves) for my Chicago books and another (Dominic Martell) for my European-based intrigue novels. The editor who bought the first European book told me, "Sam Reaves sounds so American. We need a more continental name for this book..." An author's name is a brand name, and readers expect a certain type of book from a particular author. If you're doing something new and different, by all means go with a new name.
What was the point of the pen name in the first place? Do the same factors apply to the suspense novels? It does seem that you're not making a huge leap of genre here. In which case, I don't see any reason for a different name. (Even if you were, I, for one, like it when writers branch out.)
I use a pen name to honor my mother. My name is very common so I used my mother's maiden, last name and my initals. My first E published book is under G W Pickle, but I'm thinking about using a different name for my next project. It's an erotic romance vampire novel. It didn't start out as an erotic but I was advised that if I wanted to get it published I needed to spice it up, as the vampire sub genre almost demands it if the book is to be sucessful. I have another book started in a series that has sex scenes in it, but that isn't the main thrust of the story. I feel that the erotic difference is enough reason to change names.
My advice is if you feel you need to use a different name then do it.
G W Pickle
I think your agent and your editor would be the best judges of that...it's really a "brand" decision.

It's a crass analogy, but imagine you're Pepsi. Your horror, paranormal, and mystery books are Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Light, and Pepsi One. But they're all Pepsi.

Now you're coming out with another beverage that's similar to, but not exactly, a cola. Should it carry the Pepsi name, or would that dilute the brand and confuse the consumer?

Your publisher, who is presumably familiar with your back catalogue, will probably have some reasoned arguments one way or the other.

Good luck with it!


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