Introducing Adele Adair
The first installment of a new twice-monthly newsletter from fiction writer Adele Adair
Who is Adele Adair?
Adele Adair is the shared pen name of Stephanie Monahan and Diane Mulligan, novelists from Central Massachusetts who share a love of tea, chocolate, reading by the fireplace, and books with happy endings. After ten years of Sunday morning writing sessions and trading manuscripts, in 2022, they decided to start a joint venture of holiday-themed romantic novellas that would bring festive cheer to readers. Because if it’s not fun, why do it?
Adele’s Latest Books - Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
What’s this newsletter all about?
We wanted to create a way to stay in touch with our readers. In this twice-monthly missive, you can expect news about our books, our musings on life and popular culture, and useful information like this: Our BRAND NEW VALENTINE’S DAY NOVELLAS will be FREE to download from February 3 to 5th! Aren’t you already glad you’re reading our newsletter?
Who is this newsletter for?
Readers who want to know when we have new books available, anyone who likes happy endings, people who want to talk about reality TV or fictional murders in quaint British towns… If any of that sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
When can readers expect new installments?
For now, we’re planning twice-monthly updates on the first and third Thursdays of each month.
And now, for our first installment, Diane & Stephanie discuss the decision to share a pen name…
Diane: Steph, let’s talk about why we decided to adopt a shared pen name.
Steph: Ok… I think it all started because we were a little burnt out with our writing routine. And the world in general was feeling pretty heavy.
Diane: Yeah. I had spent literally the past five years working on a book I thought would be my Big Hit, a huge, messy family drama spanning decades with a cast of thousands and a plot that was seriously depressing, and many drafts in, it was still not working. And then, last October, you suggested we each try to write Christmas novellas with a sort of Hallmark movie, feel-good vibe. I loved the challenge, but also, to get out of my own head, I sort of felt like I needed an alter ego to help me get past my very harsh inner critic. It’s kind of funny because I always swore I’d never use a pen name, but now I love having one. What was it that appealed to you about writing under a pen name?
Steph: I was definitely in the same boat about revising my manuscripts to death, and it was just not feeling fun anymore. I started to think I might not ever finish another book again. Which is how I came up with the idea of the Christmas challenge. My first book, 33 Valentines, came out of a challenge that my publisher posted on Twitter. I decided to respond to the prompt and the book just flowed so easily and quickly. It was fun to write, and I didn’t have to write dozens of drafts over many years to make that happen. I wanted to try to capture some of that energy again. And then you suggested the shared pen name, and I was very excited by that idea because it felt liberating.
Diane: Exactly. When I’m writing an Adele book, I’m not me. Adele shares none of my insecurities. LOL.
Steph: I know. I love Adele.
Diane: But I also know it is kind of confusing to my friends, who were definitely not sure what I meant that we were sharing a pen name. So maybe let’s clarify how our Adele books work.
Steph: Yeah, just yesterday I posted the cover of The Love Game on Instagram to announce its publication, and a friend responded, “Who’s Adele?” And I had to explain it’s me.
Diane: So the real deal is that Adele a brand, more than a pen name. We all know how being any kind of independent content creator these days means you have to turn yourself into a brand, and that is something I have really struggled with because I don’t want to be a brand. Making myself into a brand seems like a way to diminish my humanity. No matter what the Supreme Court says, in my opinion, corporations aren’t people, and I’m not a corporation. And yet, I get that having a brand for a business is important. Enter Adele. Adele writes witty, upbeat, fast-paced rom-coms and buddy comedies with happy endings. That’s her basic mission. I guess we could have just started our own small press and each written books like that under our own names instead of sharing a pen name…
Steph: Now you think of that. Hehe.
Diane: But I really like using a pen name for the liberating qualities already mentioned. And I like sharing a pen name with you! This is the first time in my writing career I’ve had a real teammate to work with.
Steph: Aw. I like sharing a pen name, too. Even though we technically don’t co-write the books, it does feel like a team effort.
Diane: So, for readers who are curious, our process is simple: We each write our own novellas using our own initial concepts. We talk things through as we write and help each other through obstacles, but the drafting is really a solo effort. Then we help each other edit and proofread, make blurbs, make cover art decisions, etc.
Steph: Right. We each retain our own copyrights, but for marketing purposes, our books are all out there under the same author name. So far, it’s working pretty well.
Diane: I agree. And, hey, there’s nothing to say we won’t do a co-write on a future Adele book.
Steph: Oooo, that sounds fun.
Diane: Let’s just see how the Substack goes before we get ahead of ourselves. LOL.
One last thing…
Our BRAND NEW VALENTINE’S DAY NOVELLAS will be FREE to download from February 3 to 5th! Check them out on Amazon and please share this newsletter with your reader-friends :)
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I love that you both came up with this concept! The Christmas novellas were a perfect holiday treat. And I agree about the struggle to remain a regular human while everyone else is turning themselves into a brand. It’s great to have the opportunities to market and work for oneself that didn’t exist just twenty years ago, but I think it’s definitely come at the cost of privacy, relatability, and authenticity (no matter how much every influencer crows about authenticity). Your workaround sounds like a great solution.