i'm currently working on a nonfiction project -- a memoir. anne frasier is a pseudonym that i would like to use for the memoir. is this possible???? does anybody know if it's been done? i know some writers have legally changed their names which i guess is a possibility for me, but i'm not sure i want to go through that kind of headache. i'm not completely against using my own name, but i've already built somewhat of a readership under the frasier name. and my real name ends in W, which means the new book would be shelved in the corner on the floor. not a good thing if i actually want to sell copies.

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Annie Frasier is really Norman Gimmelstaub? I knew it.

I knew it!

The thing is this: I can think of no precedent for writing a memoir under a pen name. But I know one exists. (And someone will skate along and post a name promptly. I'm sure.) Or several. Certainly there are tons of Hollywood examples. Annie Frasier is the name you're best known by? Annie Frasier is the name you prefer? Well... give 'er, then. I can't think why not.
linda, thanks so much for your input!

another positive for gimmelstaub -- it would be shelved at eye level.
Please be assured that I renounce all creative rights to any suggestions made in this discussion!
Maybe you can get around it by using your Anne Frasier writing name as part of a question in the title?. In my other life, I run workshops on Writing a Non Boring Family History' and have come across dull ms titles like The B Family History or autobiographies like 'My Story' which don't do justice as the first clue to the extra-ordinary stories inside. Sometimes a question mark helps. Great idea to be early in the alphabet at eye level too
oh my god, hazel. those titles are funny bad!
If this is a memoir it's about you, and though you write under a pseudonym, your pseudonym isn't you, it's a persona that exists only in a limited context, not your whole life. I suggest you use your own name, but add "a.k.a. (pseudonym)" under the title.
The use of pseudonyms may be used by people who write in different genres and don't want fans to be confused. Judy Bloom should have done her "Wifey" under a pseudonym so as not to confuse kiddie readers, and John le Carre is not his real name, but his real name appears on the copyright pages.
Since a memoir purports to be the truth, at least as seen through the eyes of the writer, hiding behind a pseudonym is deceptive.

Harley L. Sachs www.hu.mtu.edu/~hlsachs
And, by definition, a memoir is a highly subjective truth. Given the elastic quality of memory, no memoir can ever be said to be objectively true. Any memoir is going to start from the foundation of who you are when you write it. Tell the same personal history twice at different times and the story you tell will be different not because the events themselves changed but because the person telling them changed.

I don't see it as Anne hiding the truth behind a pseudonym so much as Anne revealing the truth from within who she is now. She's obviously not making an effort to intentionally obfuscate or inflate the truth, á al James Frey, but is trying to be as truthful as possible from the context of her current life.

It's also a service to her readers, who may know her only as Anne -- through the memoir they'll learn more, of course. It's also a practical choice. Anne Frasier likely has more marketing power than Normal Gimmelstaub, as cool as Normal Gimmelstaub is!

I trust Anne to tell an honest story no matter the name on the cover, and I believe at this time time and place, "by Anne Frasier" may actually be more honest a byline than her given name. Next year or next decade, or ten years ago, who knows? But right now, Anne may, in fact, be WHO she is.
thanks, bill. (((bill)))

you really hit what i've been feeling but couldn't properly analyze or articulate. the idea of writing under my given name seems so strange and alien to me. like returning to my maiden name, or picking up a nickname someone called me in grade school. i can feel an identity crisis coming on. :D anne does seem more like who i am now. more like me. almost everybody calls me that. if it comes down to a legal issue, i imagine there are ways around it. and as i write this memoir i really see some strong similarities between it and my last two fiction books. the themes are very close to being the same, which i hadn't expected.
Harley, I am pretty sure that John Le Carre' didn't let his real name be associated with his books for many, many years, He was, I believe, still in government service (the British Foreign Office) when he started writing, and wanted to keep the worlds separate for a number of reasons, including perhaps legal ones, at that time.
harley, my initial feelings ran the same direction, and i didn't even consider using frasier at first. but as i thought about it more it seemed that using my real name didn't make all that much sense since nobody knows me by that. everybody calls me anne, and i introduce myself that way. not that i'm well known, but it takes a long time to build a name and using my real name would equate to starting over. nora roberts doesn't write under her real name, but if she were to write a memoir (and maybe she has) i would imagine she would publish it under nora roberts. back when actors were given names by studios, they became known by those names and used them for everything. i was given the name anne frasier by my publisher, and the copyright page says anne frasier. but when those copyrights are filed, they're filed under both names.


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