Pen names–Pros & Cons


For my first entry, I actually have a question–Pen names–should I or shouldn’t I? I’ve always thought it would be fun, in James Bond sort of way, to have two separate identities. I have a YA fantasy novel nearing completion and this is becoming something I need to make a decision about.

The pros–I value my privacy, or as much as I can have of it in this day and age with a Facebook page. Since it isn’t a particularly creative pen name, just my maiden name, I also see it as a way to come full circle back to myself when I was a storyteller before anything else. My goal is to tell stories and be able to tell them without having to hold down a day job.

So, with those good reasons for a pen name, why not? Anyone else wrestle with this question? What about good reasons not to go with a pseudonym?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Pen names–Pros & Cons

  1. amyauthorblog

    I named my blog “Pen Names and Escapes”, because I don’t care if it’s my real name up there, I care about protecting people in my life who may think I based a character on this or that even if I didn’t…Believe me, I have a lot of people who “probably think the book is about them” (Reference to song “You’re So Vain” haha)…But seriously, I am not out to hurt, I am here to create. That is me though, and I of course would not expect that everyone feel the same way…That would be creepy! Anyway, yes, I do plan to use a pen name for several reasons…It all comes down to the fact that I know I wrote it, which for me is what matters : )

    Great post!

    • Thanks for weighing in. I’d read so much about not having readers I was afraid this would be like “In space, no one can hear you scream” (Logline from movie “Alien”) or maybe, “In cyberspace, no one can hear you type?”

      You make an excellent point about people thinking a book is about them–on the first novel I ever tried to get published, my dad read it and was convinced 1) that I thought he was a bad father (the father in the story HAD to be him, of course), and 2) I was seriously emotionally disturbed! (He never read fiction because he didn’t “get” it–and certainly didn’t read fantasy!)

      I learned a lot from that experience, particularly about choosing first readers carefully (though it took a while for that to “take”). I also learned that finishing a first draft isn’t the same as finishing a book! LOL

  2. Pingback: What’s In A Name « Escaping the Inkwell

  3. thewritingblues

    I’m struggling with this too. I want to protect my privacy (and that of those close to me), but I also have quite a few people in my life who are anxious to see a book with my name on it. And I kind of am too, actually. Well, I go back and forth between wanting to see my given name and not caring if it’s my name or a pen name, because as your other commenter said, I’LL know it’s mine…

Whaddaya think?

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