It’s Wednesday, which means it’s Road Trip Wednesday! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know the score: the smart and creative YA Highway ladies come up with a topic, and those participating blog their take on that topic. Each participant then posts a link to their blog in the comments on the YA Highway blog so everyone can check out each other’s response. Blog carnival. Lots of fun!
Today’s RTW question is: If you couldn’t use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?
One reason writers adopt a pen name is if they publish in multiple genres, so their real name gets associated with one genre, while their pen name goes with a different genre. That way, readers are less likely to get confused over what to expect from a particular author’s work. If Stephen King were to write a children’s picture book, I daresay his publisher would advise he use a pen name, so parents wouldn’t be concerned about their kids reading stories about psychotic flesh-eating bunny rabbits, or something.
I can’t say I’m overly tempted to use a pen name. I know I don’t have the most original name, but it’s fairly easy to pronounce (as long as you remember it’s Colin with a short “o” as in hop, not a long “o” as in hose), and I use my middle initial to make it a little more distinguishable from other Colin Smiths. The only reason I may want to consider a pen name would be for the reason I gave above: for work written in another genre.
In addition to my YA novels, I have also written some detective stories. I wrote them some years ago, and they’re nowhere near ready for primetime yet, but I might at some point want to try to get these in the market place. If at that time I’m already established as a YA author, I might consider a pen name for these. I could either go with an anagram of my name: Tim Shinloc (which, actually, isn’t that bad), or perhaps something more “detective-y”–like Art Christie (Art as in Arthur Conan Doyle, and Christie as in Agatha Christie). Or perhaps Hugh Dunnet. 🙂
If you write, have you considered using a pseudonym? I only gave one reason why authors use different names; there are many other reasons. Why might you? Feel free to join in the YA Highway RTW fun and blog your answer, or at least go to the YA Highway blog and see what pseudonyms other people have chosen!