I'd like to know why and when authors use pen names. The recent activity on SheWrites about Twitter Handles has me thinking about changing my twitter name from @mydustbunnies (linked to the name of my blog) to my actual name in order to strengthen my brand. However, I have a really long, ethnic last name that uses half the alphabet! It's really not difficult to pronounce but scares people from even trying. I'm toying with the idea of using my husband's Anglo-Saxon last name but am curious on what SheWriters think of the use of pen names. Thoughts?
You have the same concern that I do - My maiden name appears on most of my computer accounts, email addresses : granted , my maiden name isn't as long or as complicated as yours is, but still, I have to wonder if it is the name that I want to use -- I've considered using my grandmothers maiden name as my pen name since she is the one respobsible for my love or reading, writing, flowers & music: Misty is a carry over from my surfing days of my long ago youth but legally added it to my given Christian name - ie: Misty MacRae
Given/married name: Misty D.E. Chavis Rosenfeld
I don't have a web page yet - I don't have a blog yet but I also don't have a book that has been published as of yet either -
Maybe we both can get some answers
You're funny! Chisholm is a tough sounding name. You could start writing westerns using A. Chisholm. I like your last name,I can't figure the meaning out- except that "Gros" means big and "kauf" is to buy in German. I'm taking liberties with "Gros" because I don't have a German keyboard with the double "s" key. If the last part of your name wasn't "manis" just "man" Your name would translate roughly as Big Buy Man. That's totally off topic though, I get distracted by etiologies of names,fascinating stuff. I always wanted to use the name Esther Winkle as a pen name but I don't have the guts,ha!
My pen name is DelRica. I never wanted to use a last name and have thought about adding Princess to the front of it. But I don't want to come off too weird. I haven't been able to corner it on other sites for brand building purposes because, as unique as it is, there is another woman in the DC area who is a poet with the same name. I'll readily admit, she does have more notoriety than I do and I'll have to come up with a way to separate us, but for now I just go with DelRica.
I can understand your issue. Maybe you can shorten your last name -- that's been done throughout history. I love your first name, by the way. But Astra Gross or Astra Kaufman work well. But it may serve you well to keep it the way it is -- think Dostoyevsky.
The idea of making up a new name is a great one too...I think I'd be Cameron St. Clair.
I've thrown out a lot of options, I know. And I may not have helped at all; sorry about that. The bottom line is that you choose something that represents you and your writing and commit to it. Then you can begin using it absolutely everywhere.
Hope I've helped.