Pseudonym: To be or Not to be

As the name suggests, today I will be delving into the world of pseudonyms, or “false names”. But why this sudden urge to discuss them?

Well, to say the least, I have decided to go by a pseudonym.

Pseudonyms are something not so rare in the world of authors. Some give themselves anagrams to seem smart while others do it to hide their true personalities (which is something you would do if you write erotic fiction and do not want your prude family members to find out…). But the reason why most authors give themselves false names is to sound more authorish.

Take Dawn Cook for example. She always wanted to be an author and was always working on her manuscript, which she believed would be the next best thing that hit the publishing world (I am simply speculating here, don’t sue me). She did get a few series published traditionally (the Truth series and Decoy Princess series) but no one seemed to be talking about them much. And then the light shone on Dawn.

Dawn decided to give herself a pen-name – Kim Harrison. And then she published her next book – Dead Witch Walking, the first in her brand new urban fantasy/paranormal fiction series. And guess what happened? It was a massive hit!

Cover of

Cover of Dead Witch Walking (Rachel Morgan 1)

Yes, the series is awesome (I love the series) and no one is saying that the name Dawn Cook on the cover would have been any less successful, but don’t you think the name Kim Harrison is more suited to the urban fantasy genre? I do.

Another example is Cassandra Clare who has written the Mortal Instrument series. I love her books and once bunked a major class test just because I hadn’t finished reading the trilogy (I had bought all three books at once). And guess what her real name is — Judith Rumelt.

Okay, I will give that maybe I like Cassandra Clare more than Judith Rumelt because the former is on book covers, but then again Cassandra Clare has a better ring than the author’s real name.

Well, these are a few famous examples and I absolutely do not know why the authors chose to go by them but my reason is fairly simple. You see, I will be a doctor in another three years and after that I would like to be addressed as such by others. I am not going through five years of hectic dentistry to be called a Ms.!

Anyway, that’s it for today. We will discuss more about pseudonyms next time (Hint: J.K Rowling features in it). Till then… have fun.

-Ria

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4 thoughts on “Pseudonym: To be or Not to be

  1. Thanks for the shout-out. —- sound like a brilliant name for a fantasy author. I hope for your sake your publisher (if you take the traditional route) feels that way as well. Just Google it first. Make sure there’s no mass murderers or writers of erotic fiction already using it 😉

    • I liked your post a lot so I had to share it. 🙂 And thank you! I did google the name. Thankfully no one famous seems to be using it.

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