Got a pen name? Secret identities that aren’t.

One way to get around the author branding problem is to use a pen name. Jumping in to a new genre? Try out a new name. Most authors aren’t going to try and hide their true identity, like J.K. Rowling did. She had her reasons. Most mainstream authors take on a pen name to give their readers notice. It’s a way of saying, “Hey, I’m trying something new.” Writers like Nora Roberts, Lewis Carroll, Voltaire, and of course, J.K. herself all used pen names. Isn’t it ironic that Joanne Rowling changed her name to J.K. because her publishers felt a book about wizards would be more accepted by pre teen boys if it was written by a man? She used another pen name, Robert Galbraith, to step into the mystery genre with The Cuckoo’s Calling. I wonder what her next pen name will be?

Do you read any authors who have pen names? If you had to come up with a pen name for yourself, what would it be? Why would you pick that name? Giving away a Starbuck’s card this month. mysterious eyes

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suzan Michet on October 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Growing up I read the Nancy Drew series from cover to cover and that was written by “Carolyn Keene”, which was the pen name for a number of authors under contract to Stratemeyer Syndicate. (And also “Franklin W. Dixon”, the pen name for the related series “The Hardy Boys”).
    Recently my husband & I have discovered the Brother Cadfael series which was written by “Ellis Peters” … which was actually Edith Pargeter. (Looking on Wikipedia to get the spelling right I just discovered she actually used quite a few pen names !).

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  2. I write under “Puckgal” for my hockey stuff..but I always wanted to try writing erotica and for that I would use the name Anastasia Sharon. Part my name and part Russian temptress lol.

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  3. I have a folder full of possible pen names. I don’t wanna say. Some of them are really great & someone might snatch them.

    I would write under a pen name to protect my family from dealing with any media craziness.

    But I LOVE Starbucks!

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