Writer Problems, Writer's Life

Pen Name Woes

I’ve been thinking (obsessing) about my pen name a lot lately. I’m hopefully, one way or the other, going to be publishing my book early next year. I’ve had a couple ideas that I through by both my moms (my real mom and my mother-in-law) and my best friend and, while I like aspects of it, I’m not 100% sold on it quite yet. I’ve got a potential first and middle name that I would like, but the first name might be too closely related to my actual name that I don’t know if it would be enough. My last name is giving me grief. I have a few requirements for it, but the actual name is being elusive.

And if coming up with one wasn’t proving difficult, now I have to come up with two. I don’t want my “adult’s book” name to be the same as my “children’s book” name. Does that make sense?

This is all probably a cart and a horse problem, but I thought I’d mention it anyway and see what insights you could offer in coming up with a name. If all else fails, I can always ask my parents to rename me…Twice!

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15 thoughts on “Pen Name Woes”

  1. Makes perfect sense! What do you want your pen names to do? Although I am not even close to thinking about publication, I still have, in the back of my head, this voice telling me that I should think of a pen name: I just don’t feel that my own name or even just the initials suit being on the cover of a novel. Plus with the work that I do alongside writing, which is already an ongoing and fairly successful thing, I feel that my real name would be associated more with illustration rather than writing. At the moment, the leading candidate is a shortened version of my middle name and my mum’s maiden name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I basically want it to help keep my real identy a secret so my number one fans don’t stalk me and rescue me from a car accident and then hold me hostage…oh wait. 😉 in al seriousness though I want my personal life to be kept a secret and my writing to be what’s in the public eye. Does that make sense? I was thinking a variation of my maiden name also, but I’ve only got five letters to work with.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Funnily enough I’m currently reading Misery and I’ve made it to the scene that everyone remembers 😬. Anyway my initial reason was for anonymity too, although that has changed slightly. You could try a nickname of one of your parents or grandparents. Are you sticking to a female name?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad you got that reference! I probably will stick to a female name unless I think of a boy’s name that I like better. I’m also considering going with initials if all else fails.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What JR Handley says. Also, since you’re temporarily in control of choosing your own name, and that name will also be your brand that appears on book covers, I would choose something short enough that it is easy to read on a thumbnail of your covers (long names need smaller font size), and something that sounds strong or memorable when you read it out aloud. (unlike mine… but I didn’t make mine up). Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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