Sunday, June 19, 2011

Who Are You Really?

Not to long ago I attended a local authors event and started chatting about names...

interestingly enough, a good number of people there were using names different from their given names.

It got me thinking...
should I have used a pen name? no - I am too vain. I want my old friends to know that I finally did get that book published. Ten years later, but still!

Here are some fun pen and real names that might surprise you:

Agatha Christie
(Mousetrap/Murder on the Orient Express) : Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller - she also wrote romance novels under the name Mary Westmacott

J.K. Rowling
(do I even have to say Harry Potter here?): The "K" is made up....she has no middle name and it does not stand for anything

George Eliot
(Silas Marner): Mary Ann Evans - yup, this novel was written by a woman who used a man's name to garner some respect back in the day.

George Orwell (Big Brother/1984): Eric Arthur Blair and on the acting side... Cary Grant: Archibald Leach

Rita Hayworth
: Margarita Carmen Cansino

Tina Turner
: Anna Mae Bullock
and the kicker for me...

John Wayne
: Marion Morrison - okay, this one you can't blame. Marion the gun slinger doesn't quite have the ring required to send the bad guys running.

Any others you know of? Do you have a pen name? Considered it? If you were to go with one - what would it be?


Mary Aalgaard said...

Bob Dylan is really Robert Allen Zimmerman. Can you imagine how he'd mumble THAT name out!
I always wanted to be published with the name my parents gave me. Even when I was married, I still used the Aalgaard in publications. I also had the Rude. But, I've dropped the Rude now.

MG Higgins said...

I've always been fascinated by pen (and acting) names. Even though I write mostly middle grade, my first initials--MG--are my real initials given at birth. I didn't make the connection that they also refer to "Middle Grade" until I started blogging. Now I'm afraid people may think I chose them to be cute. Ick! :)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I have thought about using my maiden name, just because it's easier to pronounce than my married name. I'm still tempted to switch sometimes. We'll see. :)


Jess said...

Huh. People change their names? Who wouldda thought?

Tess said...

Mary: It'd be hard to say or spell that w/ too much to drink - ha!

MG: you know what? I never considered that and know you write/enjoy Middle Grade stuff. You ahve smart friends to think so cleverly as it would have never occurred to me. most people in the world have never heard or the term middle grade so no worries :)

AL - but unusual names are good too! it makes you stand out in the crowd :)

Jess: it took me about a nano second to know who you are. and I do. I know who you are, silly girl. thanks for the giggle today.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think I want my books (LOL) to say S.K. Mayhew on them or maybe Miss Sharon?

My friend Laura has a pen name for her mysteries and uses her real name for her romance books.

Tess said...

Sharon: why the LOL? You're writing is really joke. SK sounds very professional - I like it!

Martin Willoughby said...

Back in the fifties and sixties there were several female SF writers who had to write under male names, or hide their gender behind initials. One such was DC Fontana who among other thigs wrote many episodes for Star Trek.

One actor in the UK is known as Michael Caine. His real name is Maurice Micklewhite.

Corey Schwartz said...

No, I'm like you. I want all my old friend sot know it's me! Even kept the maiden name in for that purpose :)

Tere Kirkland said...

I thought about using a pen name, but once I started blogging with my real name, I wanted to stay consistent.

It was a lot to think about, but I'm glad I made that decision.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

As you already know, I'm kind of using a pen name. Kind of. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't use my real name in the end, so I'm glad I have gone that route. Also, the world is always open to me using a pen name later if I want. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

George Orwell and Cary Grant are the same person?!? No freaking way!!! That is the coolest thing I've heard ALL DAY!!!

Tess said...

Martin: do you mean THE Michael Cain? I love interesting

Corey: vain us :D

Tere: it is true that this decision likely has to be made fairly early on ... you have a unique name so should keep it, imho

Glam: yes, sort of, aren't you. It is a good balance.

LT: what? *going back to read* oh..that is just bloggers yucky formatting blended that sentence too close together. No..not the same guys. sorry!

Kristin said...

OK. I'm loving these comments. Great discussion, Tess.
And who knew Tina Turner was an Anna Mae?!