Just wondered how many of you use your actual name as your author name or if you prefer a pen name.

I chose the pen name, Morgan Mandel. Not that my actual name is that bad, but lots of people seem to not be able to spell it or think it starts with a different letter than it does.
I wanted an easy name to spell, easy to remember and find on the shelves.

Since my first book is totally in a male point of view, when I picked a name I chose an androgenous first name so guys reading it wouldn't feel embarrassed being seen reading a book by a woman author. Still, the copyright does show my actual name for the Doubting Thomases, so I can say, yes, I really did write that book!

What do the rest of you do?

Morgan Mandel

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Another reason I chose Moran Mandel is because it was a short name and easy for writing autographs.
Morgan
Our agent thought it would be easier to sell our mystery with a single name on the cover. While I know there are co-authors who use both names on their book, I do think it's simpler for a customer to have to remember only one moniker - and possibly for shelving purposes as well.

We had about 30 seconds to come up with a pseudonym, so I chose Evelyn for my mother; and she selected David for her father - hence the birth of Evelyn David.
Evelyn David was a great choice, even if it was spur of the moment. That said, I must compliment you once again on your cover art, website and bookmarks. When a dog steals the show, you don't really need your own photos up. It hadn't dawned on me to even look for a human before. I guess you can tell I'm a dog lover.
Morgan Mandel
For my fiction, I'm using my mother's maiden name. She's the one who got me interested in words and history when I was young, and she cultivated my love for books and writing and research. Also, "Eliza Tucker" comes up with my Web site immediately; "Elizabeth Osborn"? Yeah, there have been, and are, a LOT of Elizabeth Osborns out there. A LOT of them. There are three in our immediate family.

I did it for the Google. Also, the 'T's hit the top two shelves in a lot of bookstores; a definite plus.
It doesn't hurt using a little strategy when you think up a pen name, Eliza. In this business, we need all the help we can get.
Morgan
Wow, this has given me pause. I've worked for small town governments and on small military bases my whole career, so I'm used to people commenting on the items in my grocery cart, but I really, really want to see my name on the spine/cover of that first book. I guess if the books sell and I get a lot of crap, I'll just fast forward my answer machine and take to shopping before work.
Don't know about the rest of you but I'm waiting for Duane Swiercvlzv...that Secret Dead guy to explain to us why he went with the pseudonym.
Real name. When your real name sounds made-up anyway, why bother going with a pen-name? LOL!
I use my real name. I thought about using a pseudonym, especially since there's a BBC TV newsreader with the same name as me (and I used to be a broadcast journalist, so there is scope for confusion there). I planned to do what Conway Twitty did, and stick two pins in a US road atlas. I rejected Cincinnati Boise and Memphis Durango (although I'm still tempted by the latter...) and wanted to go with Charlotte Cody. But my agent said it wasn't dark enough - he said Charlotte Cody would write sweeping epics involving faded love letters hidden in an attic. He persuaded me to stick with Jane Hill because he said, "The shorter the name, the bigger the letters on the cover".
Jane,
Your name is easy to spell and pronounce and remember. Those are all good pluses.
A lot of people get mixed up with my real name, so I figured why create more confusion. Better to
have an easy name for people to find and spell. It's hard enough to sell books as it is.
Morgan Mandel
OK, this will probably entertain you guys enormously: I'm using a nom de plume mainly because I'm an uber-introvert, and I want to protect myself from the hordes of screaming fans I will one day have. Also, since I have an established professional career unrelated to writing, I wanted a line of demarcation between my two 'personas,' both psychologically and vocationally.

I'm curious to hear, from you published writers, how you navigate your public life under an assumed name. At readings, do you go by your pen name, or do you tell people to call you by your real name? When meeting publishers/agents, do you go by your pen name? It seems so strange (and oddly compelling) to think I might one day have an entirely separate life under another name. I can see myself having an entirely different wardrobe, hairstyle, manner of speaking, etc. -- !!

Also, do you set up the assumed name as a business entity for financial purposes? I imagine one would have to. How difficult is this to manage?

MK
I forgot to include: a pen name will also (I'm supposing) protect at least part of my life from the abject humiliation that follows when my first book is panned by the critics.

Seriously, how does someone live with a thing like that?

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