Monday, August 11, 2008

GUEST MONDAY: What's in a name? by Celia Kyle, part 1 of 2

Thanks to Celia Kyle for this guest post about the oft-discussed issue, choosing a pen name.

Many writers, me included, find that upon considering writing for publication, they need a pseudonym, or pen name. Why? Everyone has their own reasons. My main reason is that I write erotic romance. While I'm not embarrassed by what I write and am proud of my accomplishments, I also know there are individuals in the world who can easily become obsessed with others. I don't want to be the center of someone’s obsession. Nu uh. No sir. So, in an effort to hide the real "me", I created a pen name.

Everyone has a different way of going about choosing their name. From using an old family name, your middle name or your maiden name, there is a plenitude of different variations to choose from. While I can't tell you which to choose (it's an entirely personal decision), I can guide you with a few questions to help you along the way.

1. Is it memorable?
You don't want to choose a name no one remembers. Something blah and boring won't stick in a readers head. Now, this isn't a license to choose a name that screams "I'm uber different!" either. Just something that flows together well while fitting your genre. Celia means heavenly and I like to think my characters see a bit of heaven through my writing. Kyle is Irish and since I'm part Irish, it seemed to fit me. You can use any rhyme or reason for your choices, but make it memorable.

2. Is it easy to spell?
Jennyfer Rogerz is likely to be recommended by a reader to another reader as Jennifer Rogers. Now, if someone typed in "Jennifer Rogers" while searching for "Jennyfer Rogerz", it's likely they won't find what they're looking for. Choosing an engaging name doesn't mean you can't spell it phonetically or use the most common spelling. Be you! Be Different! Just spell it like everyone else.

3. What's your competition like?
Is there a porn star using your selected pen name? How about some famous scholar? A convicted child molester? Don't know? Google your pen name. Heck, Google the name before you announce to the world that you are Jenna Jamison and they think you've got porn movies out the wazoo and have just started writing erotic romance. Will your hits go up? Absolutely. But are they the hits you want? Google your chosen name before you buy your hosting and domain name or fill out your first cover art request form. You'll thank me later.

...Continued in part 2, tomorrow!

Celia writes about curvy, quirky chicks and the hunks who make their sex lives sizzle. Find out more about her BBW ladies over at www.celiakyle.com

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