Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Pen Name or not to Pen Name

What do you think?

I have finally--this morning--discovered what it is that makes my stories tick. (You know, that singular element that connects them all?) I feel like the girl who unearthed the dragon's name and now controls its immense power.


The bizarre idea seeped into my head that now, (knowing my unique niche,) I'm empowered to make a life-altering decision. Do I change my writing name?

I LOVE my name. How many people can say they're an alliteration? On the down side, there are probably fifty other Crystal Collier's on the web. On the plus side, there are probably fifty other Crystal Collier's on the web, and to my knowledge, none of them are writers. But what if by some strange chance of luck...or fate, I land a stalker? Goodness, I have kids!

The list of pros and cons before making a choice:


*Gender anonymity
*Genre jumping (Which I do, a lot.)
*Keeping the day job separate from the writing career (The musical world vs publishing)
*Sheltering the fam
*Dual authors for a single series, if I ever tire and want a writing partner


*Establishing a new social network (Twitter, blog, facebook etc)
*Possibly losing some of the soft audience (family, friends, neighbors)
*It will inevitably come out (like it or not) that this is a pseudonym
*What picture would I use? Yikes! And book signings...?

Did I miss anything? What is your take on pseudonyms?
See my tamed dragon? I used cheese. =)


  1. I've just set up a new one, to distinguish between my horror fiction and my science fiction. I'm anticipating all sorts of personality fracturing. Bring it on.

  2. It's an interesting debate, that's for sure! I think the only time I would ever use a pen name was if I started genre-jumping - I personally just like the idea of people knowing my real name. I'm sure you'll pick a really awesome one if that's the way you decide to go!

    Love the pic, by the way - it's a well-known fact that dragons LOVE cheese!

  3. I usually see pen names for authors who write sweet romance and also smutty romance. Most don't hide it long - it's more to keep their fans of the first from being shocked by the second. However, it's a lot of new social networking to do!

  4. I've thought about this, too. Mostly because I have such a common name, no one would ever find me. My maiden name is pretty unique, so if I publish, I'll give serious thought to using that.

    And I agree that if you write smutty romance, you'd probably want a a new name. :)

  5. Hmm... I will use a pseudonym, but I will just announce it on my blog. ^_^

    I'm not about the massive secrecy as much as just the bit of privacy it does bring because few people will even bother to track back to me.

    And because I genre hop, I don't want expectations from on story to taint another. :-)

    But the biggest reason is my name. Yes, it is unique, but how will people remember it if they can't even pronounce/spell it?

  6. Some authors are forced to use a pseudonym. If their sales graph went down instead of up on their book series, the computers at places like Barnes & Noble or Borders would categorize them as not worth putting on the shelves.
    Two authors I met in that situation used family names. Mike Moscoe used his mother's maiden name and became Mike Shephard. John Hemry chose a name on his father's side of the family and became Jack Campbell. These names are easy for them to remember if fans come up and address them, and it pleases their families

  7. Personally, I would never use a pseudonym. But then again, haha, that has mostly to do with my pride :) (i know, bad habit, im workin on it) Honestly though, if I'm going to put in all that effort into a novel, well, I want people to know its me. But maybe I'm listening too much to the little devil on my shoulder... ;)


Hit me with your cheese!