An Author by Any Other Name…Wait. What?

Pen names are a topic of much debate and they make great discussions. I love the idea of taking a pen name, though it really isn’t very reasonable, or is it? I mean, choosing an alter ego is every little girls’ fantasy. I have yet to meet a woman who hasn’t spent some amount of time at some age thinking up a better name for herself than her mother came up with. Truthfully, I always liked Julie Anne. There aren’t too many of us that I run into and it’s pretty, but I spent my share of time dancing on my bed as a teen, marching one oversized stilletto before the next, as Saderia Serene Fashion Queen.

I don’t have any brothers, so I’m not sure if boys go through that too. Maybe they’d prefer to be a hero, or a bounty hunter, or a bond trader, I don’t know, and my web admin won’t admit to anything, so I can only speak for women. I’m getting off topic.

Is it silly to take up a pen name? I mean, after all we go through to get published???? We just go with some name no one will know? Is it fair? Where’s the spotlight and the notoriety? Well, its just a name. If the book does well, you will be attending plenty of events, but remember to answer to your pseudo name.

Pen names can be helpful to writers who want to write in competing genres. For example, should I want to enjoy a full career of writing in the Christian YA market, I would be incredibly daft to take on a contract in paranormal romance or something even more…opposite of Christian YA. If I want to double writing something similar, or non fiction etc, OK. But, if I’m going to the dark side, well, I’m guessing my publisher won’t want my name on both. Do you see what I’m saying? Also, what if you want to write the same genre but with different publishers? Maybe you want to write for a specific romance imprint while reserving the right to publish single titles elsewhere? Probably another good reason to get an alter ego.

So, today, I’m hoping to hear from you. Do you use a pen name? Would you? Here’s my favorite….What would it be? Polly Puritan? Candi Coolpants?

Feedback please!!

5 comments to An Author by Any Other Name…Wait. What?

  • I think authors can justify pen names just for the sake of privacy myself.

  • Okay, I totally wrote this awesome, brilliant, best ever comment in the whole world and the damn thing ate it. Just ate it. Gone. Nowhere in site. WTF? And it did it again…and again. Grrrr, good thing I copied this.

    So, I’ll condense as brilliance is exhausting. I write adult fiction, nothing Christian and although I tend to write in a couple of genres, all of my writing is a bit dark. So, I don’t think a pen name will be necessary. However, Facebook says my stripper name should be Brandy Slidelick, so if I should require a pen name for any reason, I may just go with that.

    PS: I vote Candi Coolpants. That is awesome.

  • Ha! Victory is mine oh Comment Eater.

  • Julie Anne Lindsey

    JustPlainTired: Totally right. Pen Names are perfect for a little anonymity!

    Renee! I am laughing so much! I am the worst commenter for that reason. IO’ve even lost entire blog posts to a fumble or two. I’m also cracking up at your FB stripper name. Oh my! Time to look up that application ;)

  • I use a pen name for my adult stuff mainly because some (but not all) of it pushes the erotica boundary and might even dip a toe into that particular pool. If/when my YA novels are published, I plan to use my maiden name (for a lot of reasons LOL, but let’s just go with I don’t like my married name all that much).

    Right now since only the adult work is published, a lot of people know I use both names. Assuming one of my YA novels is picked up though, I’m going to have to put in a lot more effort at keeping my personas separate. It’s kind of a pain, but I think in the end it’s the best choice for me.

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