Rebecca Bates, Author

IMG_3739Rebecca lives in Boulder, Colorado and writes in multiple genres under several pen names. She is the author of The Drowning of Chittenden, The Signal, Murder in the Dojo, Murder with Altitude, The Mound Dwellers, The Jigsaw Window, and various collections of short stories. The second book of her Centauri series, Prelude to Proxima, will release next month. Two more novels—a Sue Star and a Williamson-Beatty collaboration—will be released in early 2016. All titles plus collections of short stories can be purchased through links on her publisher’s website LINK.

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Follow the adventures of Rebecca and her pen names LINK

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00066]Amateur sleuth Nell Letterly returns in the second book in the series. A morning training run cleanses the mind and invigorates the spirit. Unless the training run involves finding a dead body and becoming the prime suspect for the police. Again. For Nell it also means dealing with powerful, established families that want to ruin her life, a lawyer on a rampage and a developer who wants to own all of Boulder. By the way, her father is losing it, her daughter is becoming more uncontrollable and her deceitful husband is still missing. Time to find the killer before the killer finds her.



Talking about Pen Names

There are as many reasons for using a pen name as there are writers who’ve used them.

I never expected to use a pen name. I like my name. And what if my friends don’t recognize a name as me?

Writing isn’t about me. Writing is a business, and I write in multiple genres. I want my readers to be able to find the type of story they expect.

I didn’t always think about writing as a business. I started writing because it was fun to make up stories in my head, and then I found out that my stories entertained others. Writing teachers always tell you to write what you like to read, and since I read all across the board, I started exploring different types of stories to write. I couldn’t choose just one genre! Exploring the variety of structures and styles that readers of different genres expect has helped me grow as a writer. So I’ve fallen into using pen names. Pen names point readers to the particular type of story they want to read.

My first publications were science fiction and fantasy short stories, which came out under my married name, Bates. My speculative fiction kept revisiting the theme of exploring other worlds, and eventually the Centauri series was born. The Signal sets up the first manned mission to Proxima Centauri in the near future.

But meanwhile I was also writing a romantic suspense, which is quite a different expectation for readers of speculative fiction, and so I decided to go with my maiden name, Williamson.

My next mystery turned out to be an amateur sleuth, which is a more traditional whodunnit, set in today’s funky world, and it’s part of a series. Fans of such cozies don’t always want their heroines to brood about the mysterious men they’re attracted to. They don’t always want to save humanity through science. I needed to separate those types of stories, so as not to lead my readers astray. That’s when the pen name of Sue Star came about. Murder in the Dojo introduces sleuth Nell Letterly as a single mom who teaches martial arts despite the opinions of her teenage daughter, sophisticated sister-in-law, and crotchety dad. Their misadventures continue in Murder with Altitude, about attitudes that can be deadly. The third book, Murder for a Cash Crop, will be released in March 2016.

As I continue to learn, some of my writing is growing edgier. I have been drawing from triggers from recent history, inspired by events I experienced through my travels. These stories deal with revolutions and political corruption and cultural differences. I could see that I was going to need another pen name, as cozy readers don’t always care for such darkness. Thus, Bill Beatty. One of Bill’s stories about a Turkish cop in the 1950’s will appear this November in Fiction River’s Hidden in Crime. And a novel, Dancing for the General, will be released in early 2016.

Being Bill or Sue is no secret. They just represent some of the different voices my writing plays with. It’s fun, being more or less anonymous, but at the same time anonymity is challenging in introducing pen names to readers. One thing’s for sure: I’m enjoying the journey!


4 thoughts on “Rebecca Bates, Author

  1. I lived in Boulder in 7th grade and the cover of Murder with Altitude reminds me of the foothills we used to climb. Our house was very close and it was a short hike. Interesting take on using pen names.


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