aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Authors redefine themselves by writing under a pen name

In many cases, it’s an open secret that some writers are using pen names. Richard Price is now going to be Jay Morris, for example.

I’ve known many writers who have used pen names. One already had a cozy mystery series when she sold a second series, and there was concern that sales from one would not build on the other, but rather cannibalize. Another author I know wanted to escape the tyranny of the computers, which reported falling sales for previous books. A writer known for her chick lit has donned a different last name for her middle grade novels.

I have a funny middle grade - written with a co-author - that’s about to go out in the world. If it find a home, I might use a different name.

"Like the experience of first authorship, writing under a pseudonym gives one the sense of discovering oneself by way of redefining oneself, even if it is only for the space of a single book," says Joyce Carol Oates.
An article in the Washington Post explores the many reasons authors use pen names.

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