View Full Version : Name Angst

05-27-2007, 10:57 PM
I've recently started submitting short stories, with an eye to having some publishing credits by the time I complete my novel WIP and begin searching for an agent. It's made me think a lot about my name.

In everyday life, I have a common first name, a middle name I don't use, and two last names (I use my maiden and married names together with a space between them). Every time I check into a hotel or a conference, I go through the routine of having them check under both the H and the T for my reservation information, because no one knows where to put me in alphabetical order. If I'm going to have a book on the shelves, I don't want readers to have that problem.

On the other hand, there are quite a few Jennifer Two-Syllable-LastNames out there already. I get them confused, so why wouldn't others get me confused with them?

I know this is something an agent can probably help with when the time comes, but will it matter if I place some short stories under a different permutation of my name? What name format should I choose for right now?

05-28-2007, 01:26 AM
Authors like those middle initials. How about Jennifer H. Something? Or go more casual with Jenny.

05-28-2007, 03:05 AM
I doubt it would matter too much if your short stories were under Jennifer H. something and your novel as Jennifer something something, or any variation of these - you still wrote those stories, so they're still your publishing credits, right? I mean, no one is going to deny that a work written under a pseudonym was by the person who wrote it.

Lady Cat
05-28-2007, 05:37 AM
I feel your pain, jhtatroe! I have 2 WIP and both are paranormal romances. I'd always intended to use my first 2 initials with my last name when publishing, but there just happens to be another author of paranormal romances who has my last name and second initial.

I like the idea of using my first name, middle initial, and last name. Thanks for the suggestion justpat!

07-10-2007, 12:41 AM
Jennifer Here! I am planning to use my first two initials and my maiden name if I publish my fantasy novel and my middle name with my married last name if I publish a romance novel.

So if my name were First Middle (Maiden) Married it would be FM Maiden for fantasy novel. For romance, Middle Married.

Why am I trying to remain anonymous? I don't know.

I decided that's silly up there. You can look at my profile and go to my blog and know who I am.

So Fantasy Novel will be J.L. Haseltine
Romance Novel will be Lynn Lancaster

back when I first got the idea for a romance novel I came up with Angeline Glenwood. I went with the pornstar nameing idea using the first street you lived on. I liked the place name thing. Having lived in Los Angeles for almost 7 years, I went with Angeline for all of her bill boards. Glenwood becuase I lived in Hollywood and Glendale. :) My others for places I've lived:

Dixie Louis (for Louisville KY)
Caroline (Bah forgot last name. I lived in North Carolina for a while)
ANyway. Then I got married and thought my middle name with my last name sounded nice. That's all the work I've done on the romance novel. :D

07-10-2007, 01:07 AM
My last name is so common it's . . . well, common. So my intent was always to use my middle name as my last when I get published.

But then my father died, and he had only daughters, so now I've decided to use my all-too-common last name as a tribute to him. I'll just have to hope my amazing story telling skills and fame - plus fortune and accolades - are enough to compensate for the common last name :D

07-10-2007, 02:39 AM
I say go for whatever combinations you like, because the copyright is still in your legal name and all of your works are still yours, no matter what name is on the cover/under the title.

As for me...I intend to use my first initial, middle initial, mother's last name when writing mainstream YA or even mainstream adult if I move into it. But for YA fantasy and any other fantasy I ever do I want to use my first name and middle name as my last name. I don't really like my actual last name, which is why it never comes up... :Shrug:

07-10-2007, 02:55 AM
Actually my pseudonim will be a guy's name. I get to keep my last name (because it's cool and uncommmon) but I will use the name I would've had if I'd been born a boy (Jose Pablo H. instead of Ana Isabel H.). Or, I would use my second name (Isabel) and my mother's last name, which isn't that common either. Depends on the genre.

Marian Perera
07-10-2007, 03:33 AM
I don't think I'd ever use a pseudonym. I'd want everyone to know that this was my book... mine, all mine... my precioussss... ahem.

07-10-2007, 05:45 AM
I don't think I'd ever use a pseudonym. I'd want everyone to know that this was my book... mine, all mine... my precioussss... ahem.
*slowly backs away from Queen*

07-10-2007, 07:44 AM
I don't think I'd ever use a pseudonym. I'd want everyone to know that this was my book... mine, all mine... my precioussss... ahem.

I came up with my pseudonym when I was 9. At the time I thought all cool writers had to have psyeudonyms ;) It just stuck for me though. E.A. Blackwell is just 100 times cooler than LeAnn Sagmeister. By now I think if I published something under my real name I'd feel like it wasn't my work.

07-10-2007, 08:20 AM
What name format should I choose for right now?

Joyce Carol Oates.


Stijn Hommes
07-10-2007, 12:32 PM
The problem with your name is that the space confuses people. They think your first "last name" is your middle name. Using a dash instead of a space should put to rest that confusion.

07-10-2007, 01:52 PM
I plan on using my name when (not if!) I get my novel published...I want everyone to know it's mine. But, if I were you, I'd definitely hyphenate those last names to get rid of that confusion or drop one of them altogether. You're right, you want people to be able to find you as easily as possible.

And as far as what you use for short pieces...credits are credits, no matter what name you used to publish them under. :)

Good luck!

07-10-2007, 03:55 PM
How's Ziekemijjer (zeek-a-my-a) for a last name? :tongue

When I choose a book I only look at the sex of the author and I read the first page. I think the title of the book is more important than the author's name.

07-11-2007, 05:01 PM
I'm not sure whether to go with first and last, initials and last or first followed by initial and last. Then again I'm not angsting about it. I've got much more to do before I can worry about the byline.