Let’s chat about pseudonyms. Like them? Dislike them? Who are some famous authors who use them?
I certainly have nothing against using a pen name or alias in writing. I can definitely understand the need/desire to separate one’s public life from the private family life we wish to protect. I also understand when someone has a complex name, picking a pseudonym that is more catchy and fun. I also know several authors who write under a different name for different genres. For example, if they write YA and also adult/steamy books, they will have two different names to publish under. That’s a pretty good idea. I think what bothers me about pseudonyms are women writers use a male name as their pseudonym. Do they feel it gives them a different kind of credibility or reaches a different target audience? I understand there was a need for that in more ancient times when women didn’t have many rights or privileges, but it seems absurd to do that now.
It’s always a shock to me to find out one author is publishing under different names. I am completely oblivious to pseudonyms most of the time. I think I read 3 or 4 J.D. Robb books before someone pointed out that Nora Roberts was the same author. I can see the point, though, especially, as Julie points out, writing in more than one genre. And I fully approve of an author using a pseudonym to protect personal privacy. I wouldn’t want random fans knocking on my door!
Some authors that I can think of who use use pseudonyms include:
- J.D. Robb\Nora Roberts
- Stephen King
- J.K. Rowling\Robert Galbraith
- Elizabeth Peters\Barbara Mertz\Barbara Michaels
- Robert Doherty\Bob Mayer
I found a whole Wikipedia list of pseudonyms for perusal.
What are your feelings towards pseudonyms? Pro? Con?