A Writer's Journey

January 30, 2012

Nom de Plume: Round Two

Back in May, I wrote this entry about pen names. It was in response to something that happened that turned out to be bigger than I imagined.

Anyway, things have come up that made me reopen my inner debate. Fortunately, not regarding Mr. Kelly.

What came up? Well, I had an epiphany. I realized that “Through the Mists” was not the alternate history story I thought I was writing. The realization that I was a fantasy writer. And that got me thinking again about my pen name.

It’s not uncommon for an author to write in different genres. So I could write both my fantasies and my historical fiction stories. But I was thinking, do I want to confuse my readers? Especially if I have series planned for both fantasies and historical fiction?

So, why not do what other writers have done? Have two separate names to publish under. Of course, the question is, what would that other name be? And which genre would get that other name? Fantasy? Romance? Right now, I’m leaning to using my real name for the fantasy stories.

That leaves the possible pen name for romance. And of course, what should it be? As I admitted, I did have a pen name planned. But as I also admitted, said pen name is now tightly connected to my online identity. Could I still use it? Most likely. I don’t actually use a last name, just an initial. So searches of it may not turn up any of my other online activity—games and membership on other websites that aren’t related to writing, for example. Other people have used variations of their fandom name—Cassandra Clare comes to mind. She was known among the Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring fandom as Cassandra Claire (“Draco Trilogy*” and “The Very Secret Diaries”).

But Clare had a very big following online. I don’t. Maybe I had a decent following during the heyday of my Harry Potter fanfiction, but it’s died down. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get a decent following from the rewrites. But I digress. What I’m saying is that I don’t have any online fans to bring over. So I don’t have to worry about trying to keep my name recognition.

However, I’m not separating completely from my original pen name. I like the first name, Mackenzie, too much. So I’ll most likely keep it. It’ll be trying to figure out a new last name now.

Any suggestions?

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1 Comment »

  1. Wright?

    Comment by Amarth — March 6, 2012 @ 6:58 am | Reply


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