1. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have a pen name?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ashleigh, Jul 15, 2009.

    So you have the name on your birth certificate, the name you go by with friends, the name you go by on documents and job applications, your sign in names, your email names, your user name on WF.org, the name the kids called you at school -

    But what name do you write under?

    how did you come to the decision to go under this name? Do you think your name is memorable? When you send off to magazines and publishers, do you sign your letters/emails with your pen name, or your real name?


    I go by:

    A.E.Grace

    Ashleigh, Elizabeth Grace. My first name and two middle names, after both my great grandmothers.

    I think it'd look pretty on the front of a book. I'm not sure if it's particularly swish to others, but I like it.

    As it's standard manuscript format, I always include my real name in the address panel, and use my pen name as the 'author name', of course.

    But when writing cover letters, I've got my writers hat on, and sign under 'A.E Grace'

    How 'bout you?

    Discuss discuss discuss...
     
  2. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Everything I have ever written has been published under C. M. Horres. My first and middle initials.
     
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  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always thought about using my first and middle initials with my last name, but H.L. Pearce just seems really boring to me. And my married name (H.L. Nelsen) doesn't seem any more exciting...

    Good thing I've got plenty of time to come up with a pen name I like. :)
     
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  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think H.L Nelson sounds really cool - though it does sound a little bit more like a male's name because of the 'Nelson' part...

    Mind you, J.K Rowling doesn't sound particularly female, but we all know she's a woman, hah.

    Same for me really. I doubt i'll be getting published tomorrow, so having a Pen name so early on doesn't make much of a difference I guess. Though it'd be cool in 30 years to say i'd been under that name since I was 18, lol.
     
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  5. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    and we could all say we knew you when .................... :D
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When I do publish, it will be under the name I use for everyday purposes.

    I won't give my last name here, not now. Let's assume it is Toomey (it isn't).

    My legal name would then be David E.Toomey. I don't use my middle name, even on government forms, so don't even ask what the E stands for. But my friends and colleagues know better than to call me David. They know me as Dave, so I would write under the name Dave Toomey, same as the checks would be made out to.
     
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  7. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ If it was Dave.E.Toomey, you'd sound like a comedy writer :p It'd read as 'Davey Toomey', tee-hee.


    and yes Rumpole! in fact, you WILL be saying that someday! ......... :D yeahsurewhatever.
     
  8. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I heard that the whole reason she used JK instead of Joanne was because when it came time to publish the first book, her publisher thought that if boys knew it was a woman writer, they wouldn't want to read the book...
     
  9. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Several. Three for romance novels and two for erotica.

    When my general fiction gets published, I'll do it under my own name.
     
  10. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    My legal name is Kit Summers. I'm undecided on the matter. . If I just go with my legal name, people are apt to assume I'm female.:p I have a lot of fun with ambiguity sometimes, but J.K. Rowling went with 'J.K.' because she didn't want to be judged for being female.

    One has to wonder how much of a part these things play in success stories. If she published as "Joanne Rowling" would she be so famous? Clearly she did not think so.
     
  11. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt I'll ever get published because writing for me is more of a recreational thing than something I want to do professionally, but if I ever did publish, I most certainly wouldnt use my own name. Eergh. My last name sounds too manly, and there's already an author out there using my name anyway. :p

    I'd use something short and monosyllabic if I ever have to choose though, especially in the last name; I find shorter names easier to remember --Mark Twain, Dean Koontz, Ayn Rand...
     
  12. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    My screen name is pretty close, I'd just add my middle initial. Speaking of my screen name, an unexpected consequence of it is whenever I see the word 'agreed' online I feel very confused.
     
  13. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I publish under my real name.

    Terry
     
  14. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do the same as Terry. Although I use Sherie Davis, not Terry :p

    I don't have anything to hide, I'm proud of my writing and want people to know that it was me who wrote it. If people don't like what I write and want to hunt me down and beat me for it, well then I'll let them, it'll make a damn interesting poem after wards! HAHAHA! I really don't see much point in using a pen name. Unless of course you are under witness protection... :)
     
  15. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I found my full name a little cumbersome, so I shortened both first and last name. I have a preference for it now and have used it pretty much everywhere as it is my name and makes me identifiable in some respects, but keeps weirdos from being able to find out where I live. ;)

    Oh, the name I use is Angie Mack, which I like for being short and easy to remember - though most inevitably call me Mack, there's actually only one person who calls me by my first name. o.o
     
  16. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    R.W. Strain will probably be mine. It's hard for me to imagine a book with simply my first and last name on it, so if I go with that approach I'll probably throw in the middle initial.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My real name is exotic enough, I think, for an American market and the cover of a book. After detesting my name for the better part of my childhood, I have made amends and all is well now.

    I have some work (lets just say, no one under 17 allowed even with supervision) which would, without doubt, be published under a different name should it be published in the end.
     
  18. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gonna get your journal entries published, Wrey? :D
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No! :p

    Let's just call it Science Friction.
     
  20. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not published, but all the work I do gets a name attached to it. I use an Iain Banks-like system of naming - general fiction goes without my middle initial, whereas SF and fantasy go with it. Either Peter Wilson or Peter W. Wilson are attached to my short stories pretty indiscriminately, depending on my mood.
     
  21. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Holy poop, I almost peed myself laughing! Coworkers must think me quite odd now. (If they didn't already)
     
  22. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    I have three names.

    My birth certificate name.
    My everyday using name.
    My pen name.

    Also, as a general rule, on internet chat sites etc. I have another name, which is the surname of one of the characters in my novel, but I don't use that here (not sure why, actually).

    But Chase Roberts is my pen name. I know it's a bit Dark Half but the everyday sweet, quiet nurse me is very different to the dark and violent writer me, and I like having the two 'personalities' to distinguish.

    God only knows what I'll do if I ever get published, re. bank accounts, etc. Although I'm sure my bank would just be grateful for the cash.
     
  23. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If you get published, the name they put as the author is the name you put as the by-line. The send the cheque to the name you give on the cover letter. You can have the by-line as your pen name, and the other as your official name, or whatever.
     
  24. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really like that approach - Matt and I went to a talk that Iain banks did at middlesex university (and met him after I might just add :p), and there he talked about why he used different names.

    I think it's a good way of separating genres by the same author, without trying to disguise yourself.

    I certainly want people to know it's me that wrote any piece where my name sits under the title...but, I don't think pen names necessarily act as disguises either.

    As people have said, J.K Rowling made good use of her name - it kept her genderless, and yet it was still her real title, just put differently.


    As a horror writer (mostly - I dabble, but I am in love with the genre), I would be very proud of any success I made within the genre - too many women write trashy, cliche horror books nowdays that in all honesty deserve to be under the 'teen romance' section if anywhere, alongside twilight.

    I hate seeing these 'Dallas is a half vampire, half faerie making her way in the tough city of new york' books piled up in the horror section of waterstones - they have their own side-section for a reason...because they're not really horror at all. It's just a shame that there don't seem to be that many good female horror writers on the shelves of the horror sections- women mostly dominate the romance/chick flick genre if any.

    However, I don't approach writing with any chips on my shoulder about being a woman at all - I'd just be proud of making a success of myself as a woman as one of the only modern horror writers that used the genre to good use, and not to create something trashy. I approach writing as me, and nothing else - whatever my name reveals/ doesn't reveal.

    So, personally, I liked using my middle names because:

    A) they look and sound good, I feel, if they were read aloud from the front cover.
    B) It's my real name - as anybody who knows me will already be aware, and those who read my stuff would soon learn.

    C) - because it's clearly female - no hiding it. However, I think it requires a bit of faith in your audience to trust that they will judge by the blurb and first few pages as to whether it's their cup of tea, and not just by the fact that a female wrote it...whether that's an idealistic view or not, I don't know.
     
  25. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Such amazing insight is very much impressive :D

    With a name that means "warrior king" how can one go wrong in the fantasy genre? By name alone I am bound for success.
     

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