Embracing Our Other Selves: Formula for Creating Your Literary Name

Interesting post expressing irritation about midlist authors in a “death spiral” of reduced sales having to use a pen name. Thanks to Gwenda for the link. (My current pen name, btw, which I’ve been using for over 25 years, is “Stephen King”.)

Really, though, I think we should embrace our other selves. A pen name provides a kind of freedom to reinvent oneself. It also depends on how much ego you have tied up in your name. If necessary–and even if unnecessary–I’d happily write under other names. In fact, should I ever finish this book for middle schoolers that I’m working on, I’ll be using the name “Buckwaldo Mudthumper” (so back off, Felix Gilman, Mr. Punkpunk–it’s taken!).

So, what’s your literary pen name? THIS IS THE OFFICIAL FORMULA (as created by, um, me):

(1) Use the first name of your favorite writer as your first name.
(2) Use the name of your first pet as your middle name or for your middle initial (if your pet had a separate last name…you’re a freak).
(3) Use the first or last name of your favorite character in fiction–your choice–as your last name.

Thus, I would be Vladimir Tiko Ahab…er, or not.

Jeff

Comments

  1. says

    Damn! Now I’m totally conflicted…which would look better on a royalty check, Lulu Roxanne (the ubitquitous porn name) or Pamela Daisy Carter? It’s also fun figuring out what characters and authors folks are referring to in the previous posts…!

    I have to confess, though, our SECOND pet was named Scottie…after Scottie! My dad always got a kick out of telling said bassett hound to beam him up…

  2. Heep O'Trouble says

    Harlan F. Russell. Boring!

    (Stripper Name – Frosty Iberville…I like it!)

  3. says

    Edward A. Sun – how generic is that?!

    Edward – Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
    A. – Amigo, my late chihuahua
    Sun – Sun Wukong, the Monkey King (Chinese last names come first)

  4. says

    Its amazing to me how many ways you can go about investing your money. I’ve found for me that best solution is both risky and low risk stocks. I usually put about 1/2 my investments into low risk mutual funds that grow over time and the other half in high risk high gain stocks. I recently got into day trading and I found that software stock picks are more reliable as they can automate a process that I cant do quickly enough. The fellows over at stockmarketsoftwareblog.com have an incredible system. You should check them out!

  5. says

    I would be Clive S. Okada (S is for Simon). This is fun. I am a girl but I liked my name. I will use this name. Clive is for C.S Lewis, S is for Simon (my cat), Okada.. Mr.Toru Okada (The Wind Up Bird Chronicles) Cool article.

  6. says

    Using Pen Names is sometimes a necessity
    if I put my data into your formula my pen name would be “Marcos S Kaliman” Think better change my favorite fiction hero. lol

    Congratulations Great Post

  7. says

    I precisely desired to say thanks again. I’m not certain the things that I would have implemented in the absence of those techniques contributed by you over that theme. Previously it was a frustrating problem for me, however , viewing a professional approach you dealt with that forced me to cry over happiness. I’m just grateful for the information and believe you recognize what a powerful job you happen to be accomplishing instructing other individuals all through your webpage. I’m certain you have never come across any of us.

  8. says

    I simply could not leave your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply on your visitors? Is going to be again ceaselessly in order to inspect new posts

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Find your pen name! Link via various other blogs. I couldn’t really pick one because I have lots of favorite authors and lots of favorite characters, but the first one that I came up with was Rachel Abby Stargirl. Which is stupid and if I were to choose a pen name in reality that would not be it. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *