A Herring by Any Other Name Would...oh, Never Mind!

When I started the quest for publication, the question came up of what name I would use. There are of course two possibilities: use your own name or use something else. I chose to use my own name for the simple reason that I like things uncomplicated.

At conferences where I worked at the registration table, I've met authors who don't know what name they gave when signing up. One gave me four possible names that her agent might have registered her under! I'd rather not clutter up my brain with stuff I don't have to; it's cluttered enough as it is.

I've heard that editors and agents may request, even require, the use of pen names for authors who write in more than one genre. It's supposed to help the reader, but I never found it useful. In the first place, if a writer is good I'll read whatever she writes, and it's another mind-clutter thing to remember that Jane Doe is also Jayne Dough. I can read the back of the book and decide if it's my kind of story.

I have run into a complication that isn't particular to me but does give one pause. There are at least two other people who write that share my name. One is a college science professor, so her work is quite different from mine, but the other, who writes romances of a specific sub-genre, even shares the same middle initial. Since she uses Peggy and I chose to use Peg, (which my friends know I prefer) I'm hoping the reading public won't be too confused.

So, use your real name or choose one? I don't know what works for others, but I kept it simple. What you see on my books is what you'll hear me called at the coffee shop at home. I'd never remember to answer to Antoniette Amoria or D.A. Gunn.

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