Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WEDNESDAY'S BURNING QUESTION

Ellen Hart writes:

In the late eighties, when I was first published, I had my reasons for deciding to write under a pen name. For one, my last name is almost unpronounceable. I chose a pen name because I didn’t want to spend the next year or two of my life listening to people people murder the pronunciation. My friend M.D. Lake chose his pen name after his publisher encouraged him to write under one to obscure the fact that he was a man.

Today’s burning question is: Did you ever consider writing pseudonymously? If so, why. Are you happy with your decision to write-- or not to write--under your own name?

6 comments:

Nancy Martin said...

When I got started--back in the 80s---gasp!---all women were required to use a pen name in the romance genre. I dearly wanted to call myself Samantha Lovejoy---but I chickened out. Today, I'd have done it in a heartbeat! Maybe because I have the most boring name ever . . . .

Amy Ritchart said...

I chose to use a pen name and as a new fiction writer, it still feels a little weird. I keep hoping I'll get used to it. My last name is spelled incorrectly 99 percent of the time, even by people closest to me, so I chose the pen name to make it easier.

Amy Ritchart, writing as Mya Richards

Leigh said...

My given name is Laquita Neely. When I went into radio, I tried using it but no one understood what I was saying. I became Leigh Neely and for the first time in my life, people could pronounce my name. It has been my pen name--and given name--ever since!

Esri Rose said...

I used a pen surname on my two romances because my real last name is looooong (too small on the book cover) and difficult to remember and spell. And now I've come up with a different pen name, completely pseudonymous, for mysteries, because I came up with one that rhymes, and I think that's a great way to be remembered (as is alliteration). It's not editor-approved yet, so I won't bother to mention it. I only wish I'd been the one to come up with "Kinky Friedman."

Melissa Eiselein said...

I hope more people will chime in because I'm very curious about their answers.

I'm torn. One part of me--the vain part--wants to see my name on a book cover. Another part wants to be anonymous.

I'm currently working on a cozy mystery, but if I go to something more hard boiled, I'll probably go with a pen surname and the initials of my first and second names. Why? Because, sadly, I think there's still a bit of stigma against female authors who write hard boiled.

Emily Ashton said...

Can I chime in? I am kind of new around here and I am unpublished, but If/when it ever happens I plan to use a pen name for two reasons.

one, like others have mentioned, my real last name is frequently misspelled or mispronounced.

The other I haven't seen mentioned. In "real life",I am a school teacher and active in a professional organization related to my field. I am not ready for my high school students to be able to connect their teacher to a romance/mystery author.