Thursday, October 13, 2011

Real name or pen name?

My real name is absurd - no one can spell it or pronounce it, and my first name has connotations that I just hate thinking about (don't ask).  So I use the pen name, Elizabeth Ashtree.  One funny thing is when people write me and call me some version of Elizabeth, such as Liz.  That just cracks me up.  Elizabeth is a pen name, I make that clear almost everywhere, but every now and then I get a Twitter comment or some other message that says "Hey, Liz, great to hear from you!"

I also have a security clearance under my real name.  Seemed best not to confuse my identities.

So, do you use your real name or a pen name?  Why?


S.G. Rogers said...

I use my maiden name for privacy. I also only the first two initials, since I am female and I don't want to scare off males from picking up my books.

Derek said...

Many years ago, I opted for a pen name and went so far as to get a bank account in that name (it was easier back then - simpler times). On the way to the bank, where I also planned to deposit my literary masterpiece for safekeeping, I had a car accident. Maybe it was an omen because I earned absolutely zilch under that pen name and the novel faded without trace like an empty smile.

Sara Daniel said...

Hi Elizabeth, I write romance under my real name, Sara Daniel. A few years ago, I started writing children's books, and I write those under my pen name Sara Shafer. I'm very open that I write both, and they're both me. But I wanted to be very clear to a reader picking up my books which one they were getting. I don't want young children picking up a romance novel by mistake. Similarly, I don't want to upset a reader who expects a sexy romance and ends up reading about a little squirrel that's stuck in the attic.

Elizabeth Ashtree said...

I wanted to open a bank account in my pen name and could not do it in my State. I have found that my pen name and my real name have become associated with one another on the web, no matter how hard I try to keep them separate. So much for privacy.

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