Most of my books have been published under my own name. But from time to time I've used other names for various reasons.
I was Nicholas Adams for three books, my very first horror stories. "Nicholas Adams" was a name invented by Daniel Weiss Associates for a series called "Horror High". I was asked to pen original stories, though, and wrote:
I.O.U., Harper, 1991
Sharon's been having bad dreams that she's being hunted by a demon. It turns out that her dreams are quite accurate, and that her father sold her soul to it before she was born. Now the demon aims to collect.
Santa Claws, Harper, 1991
It's Christmas, but Holly Parker and her friends aren't celebrating. There's something loose in their quiet little town that's stalking and eating local teens. Is Cory Darnell a shape-shifting monster? Is Holly his next victim?
Horrorscope, Harper, 1992
Robyn Chantry writes horroscopes for her school newspaper. She discovers that a derranged killer is using these to select victims to murder. She and her friends have to track down the killer before their time is up.
These are the only Nicholas Adams books I've written. Some reference sources list me as responsible for others, but I'm not guilty!
I was "Rick North" for just one book. My friend, writer Margaret Bonanno, was writing for The Young Astronauts series under this pen-name, and the editors needed a book really fast. She suggested me to them, and they asked for a book to be written in four days. I told them "No problem!" They then said they already had a cover painted, and the picture had to appear in the book. I said "No problem!" Then they said it had to take place between a rocket taking off from Earth and arriving in space... I said "No problem!" I think they thought I was crazy, but I wrote the book. Then collapsed!
The Young Astronauts #2: Ready For Blastoff!, Zebra, 1990
A group of young people training to be astronauts find that the challenges facing them can sometimes be quite deadly - on the Earth as much as in space.
I like writing in all sorts of different genres, including history. Scholastic liked my ideas for historical novels but thought people identified me too much with fantasy and science fiction. So they asked me to invent a pen-name for my historical stories. I came up with "J.P. Trent" - J.P. for "John Peel" and Trent because my home town of Nottingham stands on the River Trent.
Freedom's Fire, Scholastic, 2000
The Havens family finds itself at the onset of the Revolutionary War. Joshua has enlisted to fight, Thomas is considered too young to fight, and Sarah is in love with a Loyalist boy. The whole family finds that war is changing everything they ever knew.
I did write a second J.P. Trent novel, Tutankhamen''s Trial, but Scholastic never released it. That's a shame, as it was quite topical - dealing with the murder of the boy pharaoh.