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View Full Version : What's in a Name?



rosepddle
08-22-2008, 08:03 AM
I have the exact name as a rather popular romance novelist and I was wondering if I'd have to get a pen name once I'm published? I don't write the same genre, but I'm thinking it will really be confusing if I don't. I'd love to have my actual name on my novel and as it is my maiden name, there's no option there--unless I get married before I'm published, hell, anything is possible!

Anybody have any experience with this?

Mumut
08-22-2008, 09:14 AM
Do you have a middle name you could include if the famous writer doesn't JK....?

Puma
08-22-2008, 01:55 PM
You can go with initials on your given names. There are also writers who use first initial then full middle name. Puma

Kitty Pryde
08-22-2008, 08:15 PM
From the readers POV, there's Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Charles Wilson on the bottom shelf of the sci-fi section. No one could ever possibly confuse the two. And I picked up Robert C. while looking for Robert A. because I thought it was funny that they had the same name. Both are great and prolific.

DeleyanLee
08-22-2008, 08:19 PM
Personally, I'd concentrate on writing the best book I can and saving any fuss and bother about a possible pen name to discuss with my agent, when I got one in the future.

Agents and editors know the business better than you do. They'll be able to advise you on whatever the pros and cons of what name to use from a vantage point you don't and pretty much can't have at this point in time.

Judg
08-22-2008, 08:35 PM
DL is right, but it doesn't hurt to mull the question over a bit ahead of time, as opposed to obsessing over it.

I'd advise against using the exact same name, for the reasons you've said. Initials, middle name, pseudonym, married name (potential ;)) are all valid options, depending on your name and how it sounds with the modifications.

I'm going to use my maiden name. It's shorter, easier to spell, and yet unusual. And it will make it easier to protect my privacy.

Phaeal
08-22-2008, 08:40 PM
Yes, I think I'd rely on the advice of a good agent and publisher, which, we hope, is who will be handling your books. In the meantime, I'd make up some good pen names.

rosepddle
08-22-2008, 09:05 PM
DL is right, but it doesn't hurt to mull the question over a bit ahead of time, as opposed to obsessing over it.

I'd advise against using the exact same name, for the reasons you've said. Initials, middle name, pseudonym, married name (potential ;)) are all valid options, depending on your name and how it sounds with the modifications.

I'm going to use my maiden name. It's shorter, easier to spell, and yet unusual. And it will make it easier to protect my privacy.

Thanks, and yeah, I'm not obsessing over it. I've just always thought about it because people come up to me and ask if this other auther is me (well, by people I should clarify that it's family and friends who should KNOW that if it was my book, they would certainly know about it before it's shelved at the check-out in the grocery).

The problem with my name is that it could be all first names, (not really a problem) even my last name is more commonly seen as a first name. I have entertained the idea of first and middle but I do like the first inital and middle name full out.

rosepddle
08-22-2008, 09:09 PM
Personally, I'd concentrate on writing the best book I can and saving any fuss and bother about a possible pen name to discuss with my agent, when I got one in the future.

Agents and editors know the business better than you do. They'll be able to advise you on whatever the pros and cons of what name to use from a vantage point you don't and pretty much can't have at this point in time.

I have been concentrating on writing the best book I can...sometimes Ineed to rest my brain and think of other things for a minute. I figured letting the agent and editors advise me would be the best way to go. I just didn't want to show up and they would be like, "Quick, think of a new name!"
And I'd be stuck with Anastasia Beaverhousen:Shrug:

DeleyanLee
08-22-2008, 09:10 PM
And I'd be stuck with Anastasia Beaverhousen:Shrug:

Well, there's bennies to that name.

A) You'd be at the start of the alphabet

B) No one's going to forget it

C) It's fun to say

MaryMumsy
08-22-2008, 10:54 PM
I'm sorry, you can't use that name because it's mine. Just kidding. If I saw a book on the shelf by that author I would check it out just from the giggle factor. Good luck on finishing your book, and worry about the name later. I, personally, think the book title is more important than the author's name.

MM

Jackfishwoman
08-23-2008, 02:49 AM
Rosepddle, what about using an ancestral family name? Perhaps you could look back on some geneology papers to find some neat family names?
I was pondering this and found quite a few fascinating names in my own family history. That way it would still be somewhat personal/connected to you and you would be honouring your ancestors!

rosepddle
08-23-2008, 03:24 AM
Rosepddle, what about using an ancestral family name? Perhaps you could look back on some geneology papers to find some neat family names?
I was pondering this and found quite a few fascinating names in my own family history. That way it would still be somewhat personal/connected to you and you would be honouring your ancestors!

That is actually a very good idea! I thought about using my mother's maiden name but it's really kinda boring. Maybe if I go back further I might find something good! Thanks again.

rosepddle
08-23-2008, 03:26 AM
I'm sorry, you can't use that name because it's mine. Just kidding. If I saw a book on the shelf by that author I would check it out just from the giggle factor. Good luck on finishing your book, and worry about the name later. I, personally, think the book title is more important than the author's name.

MM
I stole that name from Karen on Will and Grace and now I tell telemarketers and overbearing sales people that's my name.

IceCreamEmpress
08-23-2008, 07:50 PM
It can be a problem. The writers Mary Morris and Mary McGarry Morris are often confused with each other, for instance.

And you don't even want to get into the stories told by Winston Churchill, the American novelist, about times when he was traveling in England and was confused with his cousin, Winston Churchill, the English politician.

katiemac
08-23-2008, 09:59 PM
I stole that name from Karen on Will and Grace and now I tell telemarketers and overbearing sales people that's my name.

Oh yeah? I'm a fan of Regina Phalange, personally.

The positive thing about your name being similar is that you'll be shelved next to super-popular author. Consider that before you throw out your last name as an option. You might even come up on search engines on Amazon and Google.

rosepddle
08-24-2008, 05:55 AM
Oh yeah? I'm a fan of Regina Phalange, personally.

The positive thing about your name being similar is that you'll be shelved next to super-popular author. Consider that before you throw out your last name as an option. You might even come up on search engines on Amazon and Google.

Yeah Phalange is awesome! I'm also a fan of Amanda Hugandkiss, I.P. Freely and Ben Dover. Um...can you guess that I've watched an episode or two of the Simpsons?

And I do see the benefits of using my real name. I mean it would be great if I got readers who accidently bought my book thinking it was hers, but it would suck the other way around-lol. I'm leaning toward first and middle name, but first initial and middle name is okay too. I'm surprised no one has asked me what my name is...but I guess there is a bit of anonymity here.

MaryMumsy
08-24-2008, 06:24 AM
I don't know about the others, but I was being polite. I figured if you wanted us to know, you would tell us.

MM

rosepddle
08-24-2008, 07:34 AM
I don't know about the others, but I was being polite. I figured if you wanted us to know, you would tell us.

MM

LOL. Honestly, it never occured to me that anyone would be curious until I wrote that last post. It's Karen Rose, btw, and I'm thinking if you're not familar with romance/thriller-suspense then you probably don't know who she is. Hell, I didn't know who she was until I walked past a book shelf a few years back and had to do a double take. And there is also a Karen Rose Smith which was going to be my name had I married my last boyfriend (dodged a bullet there...with the man not the name) but I'm like, come on people! Can't I even hyphenate my name? I'm going to have to marry someone with a totally jacked up last name like Jugbludt (I actually met a man with that last name and he told me that it was pronounced Youngblood...that was of course after I called him Jungle-butt):Shrug: