Why Pseudonyms?

By Mary Jo

Today's Ask A Wench was inspired by a question from regular reader Pamela DG, who wanted to know why authors use pseudonyms.  I said the answer was complicated and worthy of a blog. For asking the question, Pamela will get a book from me. 

Writing with a pseudonym, a name not one's own, can occur for any number or reasons.  The Wenches explain why:

From Nicola Harlequin-cz-chuda-snoubenka-105

I’ve never written under a pseudonym. This was not a conscious decision. I was literally so naïve when I was first published that it did not cross my mind to consider it. This seems remarkable to me now but I had had no experience of the publishing world other than a godmother who wrote religious books under her own name. I quickly came to regret my naivety. For a number of years I wrote historical romance for Mills & Boon alongside working as an academic registrar in a university. One day a mischievous colleague read out a passage from one of my books in a meeting, which was quite embarrassing. I wasn’t ashamed of the books or that I had written them but I didn’t want my writing and my other work life to cross over.

Once I started to write full time it didn’t matter at all and it’s never really given me any problems since. There has only been one odd occasion when a publisher kept referring to Nicola Cornick as my pseudonym and refused to accept that it wasn’t!  That said, if I was starting over again knowing what I do now, I’d probably use a pseudonym. I don’t dislike my name but it does give you the opportunity to call yourself something you’ve always wanted to be! One of the reasons I like my Czech editions is that I love being called Cornickova!  

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From History to Hysterical

 

Pat here:

 As many of you know, I’ve been published in historical romance since 1984. I’ve written westerns, Americana, Victoriana, Regencies, and paranormal historical romance well before any of those genres became popular. Historical romance has cycled through variations of these sub-genres over the last three decades (three decades—oh my! Obviously, I wrote my first book as a teenager), and to speak frankly, the lords and ladies required of today’s historical romance need a lot of creativity to keep fresh. (Working with a younger sons’ theme rather than dukes and earls, I published my last Regency novel, Notorious Atherton,   in July 2013. Formidable Lord Quentin will be out 3/31/15.) I’ve always interspersed my historical romance writing with other genres to prevent becoming too jaded, but now I have to go further and further afield to keep my imagination entertained.

 

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