Originally, I asked that Blood Oranges be published under the pseudonym Kathleen Tierney. This was back before I wrote the novel. My agent said it might be possible, then she said probably not. Finally, my publisher, Penguin said no, it has to be published under the name Caitlín R. Kiernan. Okay. So, fuck it all. The book was already written. But then, sometime later, without telling me, someone at Penguin changed their mind/s, and I learned that the book would be published under the pseudonym, BUT my actual name accompanying it. Ergo, Caitlín R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney. So, the whole "writing as" business? That was not my decision. It was a decision I preferred to the alternative, though, which was having the book published solely under the name Caitlín R. Kiernan.
I wish I could say the answer is, "I just wanted to fuck with people's heads." But it isn't. Blood Oranges is a monumentally different sort of book than my last two novels. For reasons all my own (and I have a right to those reasons), I desired to set the three planned Siobhan Quinn novels apart from all the rest. I do not consider them a part of my serious work. I also do not hate Blood Oranges. It's great goddamn frolic, part condemnation of PR/contemporary "urban fantasy" and part just me wanting to go away and do something very different. They're dark, yeah. Grim, even. Occasionally pornographic. But they're also very fucking funny (I say so myself). As I have said before, they're popcorn. And popcorn is good, even if we can't subsist solely on a diet of it. Light, airy, crunchy, yummy popcorn.
But they're not the sort of thing that Caitlín R. Kiernan would write. And if you don't understand what I mean by that, I cannot do any better job of explaining. I like the book. I very much hope people will buy it – despite the confusion it seems to be wreaking with readers, Amazon, and even Publishers Weekly – and I hope people will enjoy it. As much as I ever have cared what people think of what I write.
Also, Blood Oranges has received a glowing blurb from the witch who Willow Rosenberg went down on. Amber Benson says, In the conjuring of Blood Oranges, Caitlin R. Kiernan has created a pedal to the metal, balls to the wall female antihero who doesn't give a damn if you like her or not...which totally made me love her.
Take note: Once I have finished the third book, Puppy Love (to be written in 2013, published in 2015), Kathleen Tierney will meet an unfortunate demise. Of this I am quite certain, and she will exit as quickly as she entered. By then, I'll likely be sick to death of her.
* The relationship between the names "Caitlín" and "Kathleen" should be obvious. However, fewer people are likely to know that "Kiernan" and "Tierney" (along with O'Tierney, MacTiernan, MacKiernan, McKernon, Kernon, and many others) are both derived from the same pre-10th Century Irish Gælic root, "Tighearnaigh."