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?
Maybe your name will be what attracts readers, because of its uniqueness. It's hard to know, isn't it? I've heard of plenty of people using pen names, so I say go for it, if you're comfortable with what you choose.
I guess you could call what I use a "pen name." I use R.Y. Swint, instead of Regina Y. Swint, or the name I was considering, R. Yevelle Swint. I thought seeing my middle name in print would help me to warm up to it, but I decided against it.
I guess R.Y. Swint works well enough. It's funny sometimes, because people who know my name is Regina tend to like calling me "Ry" as my name. I think that's kind of unique. Kind of. Back during the days of MySpace, I wrote under the name Irys, adding the letter "I" to my initials "RYS" at the time. Folks liked that so much, some still call me "Irys." I guess they like that better than Regina, too. :)
Maybe you could jot down a few different names and see how each one jumps out at you before deciding. I'd love to hear what name you decide on.
Thanks Regina, Ry, Irys!! As a teenager, I had a friend who was an aspiring actress. I was not, but we often made up our "famous names"... names we'd go by during our stardom. Mine was Astra Rose. That's the only pen name I've thought of so far :)
Thanks so much for your feedback - very much appreciated!
I like Astra Rose.
It reminds me, for some reason, of Vicky Lester, aka, Esther Bloggett, aka, Mrs. Norman Maine, from A Star is Born, one of my favorite movies of all time.
I also like Rose Kaufman and A.K. Rose. Initials seem to be all the rage nowadays. I guess we're only limited by our imaginations.
Anyway, have fun with it, and good luck. :
I thought my real name was too generic, so I added in my middle and maiden initials. Darn it. Turned out 'that' was too long. Thus I end up with RYCJ.
So is your pen name a total of 4 names, or have you shortened it? That 4 name thing is kinda cool.
In my opinion, you're thinking along the right lines. When I first read about branding, I decided to use my real name in all of my online activities. I even named my blog "Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum."(By the way, Gligor rhymes with tiger.)
I also use the same photo of myself on all the sites I belong to and on the back of my mystery novel, Mixed Messages, which will be released April 17th.
The reason for all this repetition? So that potential readers will recognize me! It also helps in Google searches if you list everything under the same name. I don't need a "handle" other than my real name because I don't have a CB! :)
Why further complicate an already complicated world? My motto is "Keep It Simple."
So true! Keep it simple. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Patricia!
I use a pen name because my last name is just too long and most people can't pronounce it. My mother's maiden name was Vine and that's what I've used, Cindy Vine. It was only about a year after using it that I realised it could be interpreted as Sin Divine!
Sin Devine! That might lead to an entirely new genre of writing!!
Thank you so much for offering your perspective!!
My platform is still the blogosphere. I have one blog where I write under my real name and another anonymous one where I feel truly free to write whatever I want. They each have their own twitter account and facebook page. I have a pretty dark sense of humor that some just don't get, and when you're writing about yourself it's important to remember telling your story often requires telling other people's stories. I don't feel like I have that right sometimes, so I'll write those things under my pen name.
Thank you Jennifer. I too am writing more for the blogsphere more in an attempt to practice the craft of writing. I can appreciate your respect of the privacy of others!