From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pen Names

I'm not planning on using a pen name. In fact, I plan on doing my best to defy the publishing industry and use my plain old name for everything I write, in every genre.

But. In the case of needing a pen name, such as competitions where they require one, I have one at the ready.

George Lewis.

George for George Eliot. Also for George Tate, my humanities professor from my Freshman year in college who my roommates all said I was like, and then when we were analyzing ourselves and coming up with boy names for each of us, because that's what college girls do, my boy name was George.

Lewis for the very obvious reason of C. S. Lewis.

So there is my carefully planned pen name that I have in my back pocket in case of emergencies.

What's yours?

Sarah Allen


  1. Such a good question. I decided to use my real name when I publish, but almost as many people know me by my online name, which would also be my pen name - Ariana Richards. When I was younger and though I made the name up (well, the Ariana part of it - Richards is my grandmother's maiden name), I had no idea it was a real person's name.

    So now I wonder some days which name more people would recognize...

    And I love your 'if I need one' pen name ^_^

  2. SB Jones is short for Starbuck Jones.

    Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica
    Jones from Indiana Jones.

    The reason I use this pen name is that sbjones has internet presence. I have been using that handle online for nearly a decade. When someone Googles sbjones. The searches that come up are me. If I Google my own name, you will never find me past the sports stars, actors and politicians. And SB Jones looks good on a book cover at thumbnail resolutions.

  3. Melinda Jones. It sounds "normal" but is nowhere near my real name.

  4. I wanted to use my real name but I was told by pretty much everyone that trying to publish as Linda Leszczuk was professional suicide (something about the spelling). So I decided to use my maiden name - Linda Masterson. Unfortunately, there is already a published author by that name. So I ended up with my maiden name and my intitials. Thus, LD Masterson.

  5. I doubt I'll use a pen name but if I did I'd just pick one of my surnames and use my middle name probably. Not very exciting. If I could make something up it would be Willow (an old gamer name I love) but I have no idea what I would put with it :-)

  6. I've never really given much thought to a pen name as both of my published short stories are under my real full name.

    But since I starting querying small-to-medium sized e-pubishers, one of the requirements for necessary info in the query is a pen name.

    So I decided to simply go with initial for the first and middle name and my regular last name for a pen name.

  7. I remember joining the acting union SAG many moons ago. My name was already taken so I had to improvise on the spot. I think it is wise to have an alternative name tucked away.

  8. I quite like your pen name, should you ever have to use it. Personally, I really want to avoid ever using a pen name. My work reflects me and I don't want to hide behind a name that isn't my own.

  9. Great ideas everyone! Pen names do take some thought, don't they?



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