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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It's hard to change whatever name you started out with and risk the chance of losing your fan base. Of course, if you're going for an opposite spectrum of fan, it does make some sort of sense. In my case, since I have a real name and a pen name, I'd get mixed up with more names than I already have. This way I can use the same website for my upcoming romantic comedy as I have for my mystery.
My name is what you see. I have written under Cliff Dennis, which is a switch of my first & middle names. In the mid-70's, I worked in radio under Denny Lane, Down the Lane was the show. One day I get a call, "your Mother on line three." Hi Mom---afeter a bit of dead air, she asked me why I was embarassed by my name.

It made me ponder---but, pen names, etc. were a form of 'making it.'
Sorry for the late reply, but I fell asleep on the couch watching TV. Too much Spring Cleaning!
I hadn't thought about the parent effect. They do have a way of making one feel guilty. Sadly, mine had already both passed away when my book came out so I didn't have that consideration.
Cheeky buggers! I could understand them considering whether a name was appropriate if a writer was called Dick McKnob or Totty Slutpuppy, but for heavens sake!
Who wouldn't want to read a 'Totty Slutpuppy' novel? Hell, I'm there...
I use my real name, Totty Slutpuppy, for my evening job.

Love, Totty
Totty! Do you know, I didn't recognise you from that pic, what with you being dressed and the right way up and that. It's me! Chlamydia Growler! See ya the neet, pet.

Love, Clammy
The names Julie mentioned might gain an author a lot of attention. What's that they say? Bad publicity is better than none at all?
Morgan Mandel
It seems to me that it should always be the author's choice of whether or not to change his or her name, unless maybe there's another prominent author with the same name.
My last name is 12 letters long and everyone slaughters it. I figured there's enough bloodshed inside my books without asking for more, so I went with a pen name. Besides, if they used my real name, they'd have to extend the book cover!
And then there's the added perk of being able to lay blame on my alter ego, and just say, "Scarlett did it!"
I also like having an alter ego like Scarlet mentions. It makes it easier to assume the role of author and pretend I don't have a day job.
Morgan Mandel
I love your pen name--very sophisticated!

For years I published as Laura Philpot Benedict, using my maiden and married names, thinking that if I ever got famous, I would want all the people who knew me way-back-when to know so they could buy my work and feel bad because they said nasty things about me. But I finally decided that pretty much all the people I care about know me as Laura Benedict. Plus, I made so many enemies (including 2 ex-husbands) as Laura Philpot that, if the darned unlikely day comes that those people hear of me again, they'd probably band together and either sue me or pelt me with rotten fruit. Dropping the "Philpot" seemed the judicious thing to do. Laura Benedict also seemed tidy and easy to remember.


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