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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What's in a "Pen" Name? (Possibly my shortist blog to date!)

     This is one subject that comes up pretty much, on a regular basis for most writers groups I am in.  Do I use one? Is the most asked; followed closely by "Do I use a variation of my name?" 
     I think you need to answer the following questions:
     "What kind of writing do I do?  Would I want my parents/family to know that I'm writing this?"  If you are an erotica writer, it can be important to have a name that sounds like this genre anyhow, a pen name is not absolutely necessary.  However, if you answered "Yes," then you may want to have a pen name.  And preferably one that is far from your legal name. 
     Another question is, "Is my name hard to spell or say?"  If it is, from the standpoint of Google searches, you may want to have a pen name.  It could be a different spelling, or shortening your name.  That is if you don't care if your friends/family know you are writing in a genre that is possibly embarrassing (and this can include others besides erotica).
     One of the other important reminders is to do a Google search to see if someone else already is using it.   You could do a variation of that possible pen name.  For example, "Smith," could become "Smyth." 
     So I know you are probably saying, "Is L. Anne Wooley a pen name?"  Well, yes, and no.  This is a variation on my name.  And no, not saying what it is...even if it is a common enough name, I'm still not putting it out there. You can't make me!  I'm debating on using a totally different name for erotica, as I also write that from time to time. 
     Whatever you decide on doing, make sure you weigh the pros and cons unique to your situation.  You can have more than one name as well.  If you write different genres, it can be helpful to have one for each genre.  Just make sure you don't name yourself Stephen King or Anne Rice, and you should be fine. 

Helpful Links:

It suggested "Doris Catherine Barker." 

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