Friends, readers, everyone, lend me your ears....

I come to bury Evan Winters, not to praise him. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, but every time I’ve approached the task, I’ve flinched. Blame it on a penchant for the dramatic. I kept thinking that if establishing a pen name was important enough to do in the first place, then the retirement of that name was important enough to undertake with a certain amount of pomp, right?

At this point, I'm thinking maybe not. Pomp seems to be slowing me down. Maybe let’s just rip the Band Aid off this thing. Here goes.

Evan Winters is not my real name. It’s a nom de plume, and I won’t be using it anymore. Maybe one day, I’ll write a bit more about my reasons for employing a pen name, but honestly, they aren’t all that interesting. I have been thinking about switching over to my given name for about two years now. I published short fiction throughout my twenties under my real name, and I’ve honestly never been trying to hide my identity. A pen name just gave me a way to organize certain creative projects (in this case, horror fiction) and make them distinct from others. That made sense at one point, but as I get older and see my time getting shorter by the day, I find I am less interested in organizing my fictions than I am in getting as many of them written as I can before that time runs out.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, yeah?

Then, as if to give me a push, life threw a curveball! Last November, an old friend texted to ask if I had put out a new book. A fantasy novel, no less. I hadn’t. As it turned out, however, somebody out there had put out a fantasy novel under the name “Evan Winter.” Well… that was certainly something! A writer was out there evanwintering just one letter away from me! For all I knew, it might not even be a pen name. Discovering that someone was writing under such a similar name was the final push I needed to get out from under my pen name. I actually discovered this as we were getting the Mistletoe and Mischief holiday collection put together last November, and if we hadn’t been so deep into that project, I’d have made the change then. That wasn’t possible, however, so I decided to do it just as soon as I could once the book was out and I could get my thoughts organized.

You can look at the date of this writing and imagine half a year going by with the ease of black and white pages falling off a calendar in an old-timey movie. Time flies when you’re sitting on your ass, organizing your thoughts, eh?

So let’s make it official: I won’t be writing as Evan Winters anymore.

What does this mean to anyone who has enjoyed the handful of projects I’ve put out as Evan Winters? Precious damned little, I think. I remain hard at work on the first book of what I’ll be calling “The Graveyard Shift Series.” Said series will continue the adventures of Sheriff Maggie Dell, who I introduced in the Mistletoe and Mischief anthology last year. I’ll be putting that book out this autumn, by hook or by crook. Late September, y’all. By hook or by crook. I’ll also be putting out a new edition of The Witch of Bracken’s Hollow under my own name.

It’s Brian, by the way. My name’s Brian Hocevar, just like the art credit in that comic I gave you if you joined my mailing list. See, if I was trying to be a sneaky sneak, I was doing a pretty weak job of it.

And there you have it. We’re done with Evan Winters. Please replace him in your mental address book with “Brian Hocevar.” That’s the name under which I will be sending stories your way. Look for the next one in September.

Cool. See you all soon.