You all probably knew this already, but I hadn't realized that Joyce Carol Oates had written some books, including mysteries, under a pseudonym. (I'm reading THE TATTOOED GIRL right now.)

Here's an essay she wrote about various authors' decisions to write under a pseudonym:

http://www.usfca.edu/~southerr/rosamond.html

An article in the New York Times in which she states that she regrets having written under a pseudonym (I don't know if she feels differently right now. UPDATE: I guess she did change her mind because she kept writing books under Rosamond Smith.):

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE4DA173FF933A257...

And just for good measure, a youtube clip of talking about developing characters and advice to emerging writers (I was heartened by her saying the first six weeks of writing a novel was "hell"):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgJ809QKmas

I really never considered writing under a different name, no matter what genre I experimented in. But I can see how authors might want to embrace another identity, especially if a book is in completely different style. How about you?

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Ugh, Joyce Carol Oates. She's about as much fun as a case of the clap.
I suppose one could say I write under a pseudonym because I use my initials and my maiden name. I chose to do that for several reasons. One very personal one relating back to my college days and probably irrelevant now, but it sure seemed important at the time. The second being that my married last name confuses people and no one spells it correctly sometimes even after having it written for them multiple times. I have one friend of close to fifteen years who still misspells my married last name. I've been tempted make her do the "Write it 100 times" exercise teachers used to make us do to learn things like state capitols or not to talk in class. Why make it even harder for people to find my work by using a name they coudn't pronounce or spell? Now as for using my initials, my main reason was the same as someone else mentioned, to be genderless; however, now that my picture is plastered all over the net and I chair Murder in the Grove that's hardly relevant. More importantly, I just liked the way it looked.

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