Many authors take on pen names for various reasons. It could be that their real name isn’t easily searchable, the spelling is difficult, their family wants privacy, or maybe they’re an erotica writer and their day job is something more conservative. So what’s in a name? It’s fine to create a pseudonym, but remember that for every pen name you create, that’s another set of social media you must promote.
I heard a funny story about author pen-names recently. The organizers of a writers’ conference were sorting through their registrations and came across a case of mistaken identity. Note that actual names have been changed to protect the identity…
They found that Amy Davis was really Susan Delaney, but she writes as Misty Rios for her romance series, and she writes thrillers as Dame Queensland, and she uses the name Rachel Robinson for her romantic suspense books. However, Amy/Misty/Dame/Rachel’s birth name is actually Steven Watson…a man!
It wouldn’t bother me in the least to discover that my favorite romance author was actually a man. After all, I’m a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and he writes romance better than any as noted by the number of books he has penned that have been adapted into movies.
I just feel that changing your name for every genre is a lot of work to go through. Imagine if you had to find and build a new audience for every one of your books? When Nora Roberts, romance writer, wanted to pen thrillers she was concerned that her romance readers would be surprised and perhaps even disappointed when they picked up her new titles. She created the pseudonym of J.D. Robb, but was quick to let her readers know that the new name was actually her own. That way, readers could decide if they wanted to try out the new style.
I write humorous erotica under the name Lola Bond, but those covers display, “Mia Fox writing as Lola Bond.” As writers, we’re creative folk and it’s natural to want to try different styles. But you can have your cake and eat it too. Sure, try out a new pen name, but let your readers know that it’s still wonderful you.