PDA

View Full Version : So what is in a pseudonym?



DragonBlaze
12-01-2011, 03:01 AM
Hello again everyone. I hope I didn't make anyone cringe with this topic as I bet many have asked this before. :o I did search through old threads but did not find one that fully answered my concerns.

How did you all come up with your pseudonyms? I face this dilemma because I am not graced with a great author-like name. Don't get me wrong as I am proud of my full name and its uniqueness. Without going into further detail to reveal too much private information, let's just say that the name doesn't come off as memorable or very "pleasing" to say despite a two syllable first and last name.

Did you all face such concerns about having a pseudonym that appeared "suitable" for the genre you are writing? My focus will be in the Fantasy genre. What creative methods out there has everyone checked into or used they have found useful?

Thank you for your time! :D

Drachen Jager
12-01-2011, 03:07 AM
Stephen King just picked the last name of a musician he liked and changed the first name slightly from "Randy Bachman" to "Richard Bachman" when he needed a pen-name.

Use your real name for queries though. The one that will appear on the contract.

The Lonely One
12-01-2011, 03:14 AM
litfic = my dad's name, middle/last name reversed.
sci-fi = the intersection of the streets of my first house.

I like being sentimental.

Paul
12-01-2011, 03:18 AM
It's a Nym that's full of itself / bit of a poseur

veinglory
12-01-2011, 03:33 AM
I fell into mine based on a name I used online and for fanfic.

scarletpeaches
12-01-2011, 03:42 AM
I thought, as I write erotica, "Scarlett" would be the perfect name. What surname would go with it? In the end I decided on "Parrish" because Scarlett Parrish sounds a wee bit like my screen name, scarletpeaches. How I chose that name is a whole other story.

Paul
12-01-2011, 04:25 AM
I thought, as I write erotica, "Scarlett" would be the perfect name. What surname would go with it? In the end I decided on "Parrish" because Scarlett Parrish sounds a wee bit like my screen name, scarletpeaches. How I chose that name is a whole other story.
Scarlett is not your real name?

But it's so...appropriate...

Filigree
12-01-2011, 05:37 AM
I'm dancing close to the cliff-edge, but in the end I decided to just use my real last name and initials. I really don't care what anyone else thinks of me writing what I write, and I'm not working in an industry (or socializing in a group) where it matters.

KyraDune
12-01-2011, 05:40 AM
I don't know, mine kind of just fell out of my head. Everybody tells me it sounds like a fantasy author, so I guess I picked a good one.

ohthatmomagain
12-01-2011, 05:43 AM
I was wondering if you were supposed to use your real name or 'author name' for queries. So glad I clicked on this thread.

Kathleen_
12-01-2011, 06:13 AM
I plan to use my initials with a family name that has died out (in my family anyway).

Kyla Laufreyson
12-01-2011, 06:36 AM
I got "Arianna" from a book series I loved when I was younger.

I asked a friend what last name would sound good with that and she said "Sterling".

Suffice it to say, she was totally right.

Hiroko
12-01-2011, 07:03 AM
My nom de plume is the one you see above the coy smiley. :tongue

I got it from a personality quiz, believe it or not...the meaning is relevant to my personality, of course, but I guess I am still considering whether I will translate and use a different "name" (Hiroko is a Japanese name, and now I'm more interested in European culture).

backslashbaby
12-01-2011, 07:12 AM
I use the more gender-neutral long version of my real first name, and a family surname. That surname is just very simple and easy to remember compared to my real last name.

My dad likes that I use the old surname, because he grew up with all the old relatives who had that last name.


My other pen name is the name my mom almost named me, plus her maiden name. That's another simple last name :)

OnlyStones
12-01-2011, 07:30 AM
I've always thought that I would use the first and middle name that my mother gave me at birth. My father changed it to the one I've had all my life, but you can see on my official birth certificate where the first one was white out'ed. I also have a big calligraphic copy of the first name.

The Lonely One
12-01-2011, 07:45 AM
I was wondering if you were supposed to use your real name or 'author name' for queries. So glad I clicked on this thread.

I usually put the pen name in two places: the byline and then one simple sentence in the cover letter.

"If selected for publication, please print this story under the pseudonym ______."

All relevant contact info and correspondence have my real name.

Brindle MacWuff
12-01-2011, 07:25 PM
I'm going to use Hugh Jarse as a pseudonym. or Peter Ness.

regards,

P. Ness

scarletpeaches
12-01-2011, 07:29 PM
I suggest Hugh Janus.

Libbie
12-01-2011, 07:35 PM
Libbie is my real first name.

Pen name the first (in signature line): My previous legal last name was difficult to spell, pronounce, and remember. This one was much easier; plus, there aren't a lot of other H-last-name authors out there compared to, say, the Ms or the Ss, so it would be easy for a browser to pick up on my books. After my divorce, I changed my last name back to my maiden last name, which is one syllable in length and very boring. Sticking with the pen name because it's more memorable than my legal name.

Serendipity: My future new legal surname also starts with an H, but is also difficult to spell, pronounce, and remember. So the pen name will be even more applicable once I am re-married! Hooray, happy coincidence!

Pen name the second: As I self-publish under that pen name, I wanted it to be a little fun and different, but still memorable. I know a few women whose real first names are Lavender, and I have always thought it's a unique, fun name. I picked Ironside because it was memorable and sounded good with the first name. I intentionally made it feel like an obvious pen name. Reaction to it has been mostly positive -- lots of people telling me they love it -- with only one person totally thinking it sucks. :)

Brindle MacWuff
12-01-2011, 07:55 PM
I suggest Hugh Janus.

or A. Ness.

Karen Junker
12-01-2011, 10:29 PM
When my first book got published, I used the pen name Fiona Macleod. It's the pen name used by a man who was a member of the Golden Dawn. Since then, I have allowed the domain name to slip out of my control, so I won't be using that name again.

When picking a pen name, make sure you can get the DOT COM domain for the name. Most people search for your name under the dot com address first. Also make sure it's not in use by anyone in adult entertainment.

Brukaviador
12-02-2011, 12:46 AM
When picking a pen name, make sure you can get the DOT COM domain for the name. Most people search for your name under the dot com address first.

Excellent advice. Also check out facebook, twitter and such things if you plan on using them to promote your work.


Also make sure it's not in use by anyone in adult entertainment.

I have a friend who shares a name with an adult film star. She's not a writer but it causes her no end of trouble.

DeleyanLee
12-02-2011, 12:58 AM
Deleyan is the name of my character in one of the Pern clubs I belonged to ages ago. It has the advantage that I will answer to it when it (or Del or Dele) is called in a hallway. (It's happened, so I know)

"Lee" just sounds good with Deleyan.

AlishaS
12-02-2011, 04:10 AM
I picked a name I liked (had I had a girl it might have been her name) and well something that seems generic, but that has a secret meaning behind it, that only I and my husband know what it is.
And that's how you get Avery Olive