A Pen Name Or Real Name?

During the meeting Saturday, another newbie and I were discussing pen names. Do I need one? How do I choose one? Why should I have one? Well, this got me to thinking (yes, a dangerous thing, me thinking), I’ve been working so hard to get my name out there, what if I’m using the wrong name?

The established authors suggest that if you value your privacy, use a pen name. I personally don’t mind that, I might eat those words, but for now I don’t. I love interacting with people. That’s the reason I have Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and a blog.

I started this blog with the hopes that one day all of my loyal readers could come and enjoy a laid-back atmosphere, and just chat with me and other readers. So, it is my decision to continue using my real name for my young adult work.

On the other hand, if I ever decide to branch into a different genre, I will be using some other name. Let’s say I decided to write something that my mom wouldn’t want to brag to her friends about (spicy romance, crime drama, etc.), of course, I would use a pen name.

  • Now that you know my answer, tell me your answers:

When should an author use a pen name? What would your pen name be?

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 2:21 AM  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well Tammy, I’ll admit right now, this is my pen name. I thought long and hard before choosing one because I wanted something that reflected my Cajun roots as well as something that was easy for me to sign (my handwriting is HORRIBLE). So, I did a little research for name meanings and finally settled on Danica, and Avet was actually the last name of a boy I had a crush on when I was 12 (although, I didn’t pick the name because of that, Avet was short, and I can write it somewhat legibly), lol. My reason for using a pen name instead of my real name was because of the type of industry I work in.

    • Thanks, Danica. My hubby actually suggested that I use the last name of my ex-husband! I didn’t like that idea on so many levels that I won’t go into it now. Suffice it to say my answer was “NO”!!!

  2. I have used a nickname for so long, my brothers and sisters have to think a moment before they can give my real name! Most people don’t even realize that I am not using my real name. Although when I work people know my business name. When I meet someone I haven’t seen in a long time, I can tell just by what name they use to refer to me where they know me from.

    There is no real moral to the story, except that you need to be happy with whatever name you choose to go by, because it may stick with you for a really, really long time. And regardless of which name you use, someone out there will always know they real you. 🙂

    P.S. Although steamy romance novels are not my first pick in reading, crime novels are! If you decide to write one, even if you use a pen name, please let me know so I can read it too!

    • Thanks so much Squeak. I will definitely let you know if I write a crime novel. In fact, you’ll probably be reading it before I show anyone else. Thank you for all of the support you’ve given to me.

      Love ya!

  3. I use a pen name. My grandmother always called me Reena, even though it’s not my name. And Jacobs is a family name. I decided to go with a pen name because I feel rather uncomfortable having a few select people I know find out that I write books loaded demons and sex.

    I guess I’m just not ready to let go of the false image that my mind is sweet and innocent, when in fact I think about sex pretty much nonstop. Writing is the perfect outlet. 🙂

    • That’s not necessarily a bad thing Reena. 😉

      Writing is the perfect outlet for all of our hidden desires and faults. One of my characters mentions several times that she can’t cook. My family read it and realized that I based the character on myself. They then began to ask about some of her thoughts. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to let my family into my head. LOL

  4. Use a pen name. If you own a home, anyone can google you and get your home address. If you never plan to own a home, you’re probably good.

    • Thanks Veronica. I just got a mental picture of my house on google maps. YIKES!!!!

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