Time for the April IWSG. Thank you to Alex J Cavanaugh and his side kicks for the month–Christopher D. Votey,Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!
I really don’t have the heart to redo the whole thing with pictures etc, so I’ll just get to the question of the day–no, not the suggested question about whether I’ve ever used the A-Z to market a book–my question today is ‘what do you think of pen names/pseudonyms?’ I’ve been thinking of republishing under a pen name after attending a Joanna Penn workshop–she publishes under Joanna Penn for her non-fiction and as J.F. Penn for her fiction. She says it helps Amazon to target readers for the different genres.
So then I started researching, as you do, and was quite surprised at the authors who use more than one name. Who would have thunk?
- Stephen King (his real name) writes Horror. He also writes as Richard Bachman, Eleanor Druse, Steve King, and John Swithen. Check them out!
- Jack Higgins (his pseudonym) writes Mystery. He also writes as Martin Fallon, James Graham, and Hugh Marlowe.
- Issac Asimov (his real name) wrote Science Fiction. He also wrote as Paul French and George E. Dale.
- J.K Rowling (her real name) writes her Cormorant Strike detective series under the pen name Robert Galbraith — that secret was soon revealed!
- Barbara Michaels (her pseudonym) writes gothic and supernatural Thrillers. She also writes as Elizabeth Peters.
- Nora Roberts ( born Eleanor Marie Robertson) writes as J. D. Robb for her Death series and under the pseudonym Jill March. She calls herself Sarah Hardesty in the UK. Fascinating!
- Alistair MacLean (his real name) writes Mystery. He also writes as Ian Stuart.
- Eboni Snoe (her pseudonym) writes African-American Romance.
- So, the question is — why do these successful authors use pen names? I’m sure they’re not insecure about too much. Why then? Is it just about different genres, or are there other reasons?
- Do you think the extra work involved (new blog, new social media etc) is worth it to write under a pen name? I’ve had people tell me yes, people tell me no.
We at WEP would love it if you sign up for our challenge on April 19th – “P” day for the A-Z. You can so do both…sign up over at Write…Edit…Publish.