Five reasons for a nom de plume

Lessay Plume métallique mail-pen
Image via Wikipedia

Does your pen need a name?

If it doesn’t already have one, here are a few reasons why you might want to give it one:

  1. You wouldn’t want to embarrass your mother.
  2. You wouldn’t want to own up to everything that came out of your characters’ heads.
  3. Everyone is sexist.
  4. “Arnold Littlemember” just doesn’t fit your genre (i.e. erotica).
  5. Bookstore shelf placement.




13 thoughts on “Five reasons for a nom de plume

  1. 3. Not everyone is sexist but too often I hear “I only read writers of my own gender” and I hear it as often from men as women. It is a sad state of affairs really. My opinion of the Shadow Trilogy didn’t change after I’d found out that fantasy writer K.J. Parker was female.

    The only reason I would have a pen name is if my own was difficult to pronounce or so obscure that people would assume my real name was a pen name.

    1. I can’t quite agree with you on the sexist part. I do think that deep down we all are. Many of us try *not* to be and that’s great. But, too often it sneaks up on us even when we don’t realize it.

      I know I favor male authors.

      I never thought I favored them, but I noticed it when I started writing. I didn’t have one female author that I could call my favorite (still don’t).

      I’m a normal, heterosexual woman. I’m educated and like to think I’m a bit of a feminist. But, I honestly think I like books written by men rather than women, and I subconsciously steer away from books written by women. Sad, isn’t it?

      1. I’m intrigued to know what it is about fiction written by women that gets your avoidance alarm going. Certainly there is a case to be made that modern “feminine” literature has been swamped by cheap romance, emo vampires and tales of shopping for shoes, but do you feel the same way about more celebrated female writers?

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