If you're like most authors, you always wanted to do this and so you made up cool writer names for yourself. Patti Pinecone (nature writer) or Taralee Ann Ford (romance writer) or Kathleen Joneston (literary genius).
If you could name yourself, what would it be? What would be the ideal author pen name? I mean, think of JK Rowling. Would Harry Potter have sounded as good written by Joann Rowling? Truman Persons was Capote's real name. Truman was thinking ahead when as a young man he chose to take on his step-father's last name.
I'm not a fan of the maiden name combo. I like the first and last. Period. The 3 name combo just sounds too la-de-da. I'm jealous of Southern author Carson McCullers. What a cool name. Why couldn't I have a tag like that? Her parents give her an awesomely interesting first name, then she marries Mr. McCullers. Bingo-- an ideal author name.
My real name was Karen Jones. Awful, awful pen name, thought I, too plain and boring. I kept trying to change it and come up with more clever, creative versions (see above paragraph). My married name turned out to be not much better, Karen Gowen. When you say it out loud, there's not much of a ring to it, so I ended up with the maiden name combo of Karen Jones Gowen. It's okay, but does it measure up to all those made-up pen names written over my school notebooks? Not really. Still, it is my name so I may as well go with it, right?
Okay, I've admitted it. I'm not crazy about my author name, but there it is. It's my name and I'm sticking to it.
How about you? What kinds of gymnastics did you go through to settle on your current author name? Do you like it, love it, hate it, plan on changing it? Or maybe people don't think too much about this, and I'm a freak who overthinks everything.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf