Thursday, August 16, 2007

To Pen or Not To Pen, that is the question...

Here is my I use a pen name?

As you may well have noticed in my about me section, Taryn Raye was not the name I was given at birth. Nor is it my married name. I'm not trying to hide my real name by any means, but I don't think my given or married names are very eye-catching so to speak.

What are you're opinions about pen names? Do you use one, if you are a writer? What are your reasons for doing so? Does it pose a problem or conflict of personality to be known by two names?

I would really love some imput on the pros and cons of using a pen before I start submitting with one. Any advice would be wonderful and appreciated.



Devon Matthews said...

Hi Taryn,

I added your blog to my favorite links. That way it'll be easy for me to pop over and see what you're up to. :o)

Pen names... A LOT of the writers I know use pseudonyms. You might be surprised that many of the authors you encounter have alter egos and publish under as many as two or three different names.

I use a pseudonym. Everyone in my RWA chapter knows me by my real name and that's what I use on our private loop. But in public, I'm Devon Matthews, romance author. :o)

Devon is my daughter's name, and Matthew is my son. Surprised?

At first it felt strange, but I'm used to it now. I decided to go with it when I was offered a contract for my book, but I had thought about it and decided on the name long before. As you said, my real name isn't very romance author-ish. But, I think your real name is excellent. Taryn is lovely, too, so I think you're good either way you decide to go.

Devon ;o)

Taryn Raye said...

Thanks so much Devon!

It doesn't really surprise me too much to discover that a lot of writers do use pseudonyms.

I tend to check the copyrights in the front of most books I buy and like, just to see if the author is writing under another name. I had noticed yours was different as are a few others I know. ;o)

I'm at the "feels strange" point because I want to try it on for size and see how it feels to go by that name, though I'm still uncertain of using it at all.

Thank you so much for commenting and for adding me to your favorites! (You're on mine too!)

Maddie James said...


I do use a pen name and decided to do that long ago. I am very glad I did. I can keep my writing life and my professional life and personal life separate that way if I choose to do so. For a long time many people at my work had no clue about my writing romance. Several still do not know. It was easier for me to keep it separate that way. One of my former editors and I came up with my pen name when I divorced. I wanted a name then that would stay with me professionally no matter what. I didn't want my ex-husband's last name on my books any longer. I write both fiction and non-fiction, so I keep them separate, too. All of my fiction work is under my real name.

So, that is why I do it. I see Devon has given you some good advice, too. And like her, everyone in my chapter knows me by my real name -- except at conference, and then I'm Maddie to everyone! Which actually, I kind of like!


Taryn Raye said...

Thanks Maddie. I've actually been thinking more about it since posting this and I may have to adopt two pen names. I have a very small set of ideas for historicals, but most are contemporary, so it did cross my mind to write under two different names for each genre.

Just a matter of deciding which to write under for each one. I may take a page from how Devon got her pen and use my daughter and stepson's names, Dakota Christopher. I hadn't thought about it before, but it does have a nice ring to it. ;o)

Thanks so much ladies!