Poll

Which pen name possibilities do you like?

H.G. Kelly
3 (42.9%)
H.G. (other last name, to be determined, here)
0 (0%)
Harper Grace
0 (0%)
Kay Lee Reynolds
1 (14.3%)
K. Lee
0 (0%)
K.L. Reynolds
0 (0%)
K. Lee Reynolds
3 (42.9%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Pen name poll

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Amblygon

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2017, 01:09:09 PM »
I like all of the suggestions that have been made and I think you should go with whatever feels the most like the author you want to be. :D

That said, have you thought about whether you want your name to reveal your gender (e.g. like J.K. Rowling vs Joanne Rowling)? My understanding is that for many genres (including fantasy) male names or at least gender-neutral names sell better (and also get better responses from agents/publishers)? For example, see this article for Jezebel by Catherine Nichols. That's why I think my pen name is probably going to be of the "I.I. Surname" format (or maybe I. Surname or a gender-neutral first name plus surname). In any case, something to think about. (:

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2017, 01:43:12 AM »
I like all of the suggestions that have been made and I think you should go with whatever feels the most like the author you want to be. :D

That said, have you thought about whether you want your name to reveal your gender (e.g. like J.K. Rowling vs Joanne Rowling)? My understanding is that for many genres (including fantasy) male names or at least gender-neutral names sell better (and also get better responses from agents/publishers)? For example, see this article for Jezebel by Catherine Nichols. That's why I think my pen name is probably going to be of the "I.I. Surname" format (or maybe I. Surname or a gender-neutral first name plus surname). In any case, something to think about. (:

Lol, easier said than done. :P

I mean, I guess the gender neutral thing is kind of what I was trying to get at by possibly using the name H.G. Kelly, for example, 'cause that could easily be gender neutral name, even though it wasn't really a conscious thing when I initially came up with that idea.

Honestly, I think I've pretty much decided to just go with Ally Kelly as my author name. Someone pointed out that I'm already known as that on Facebook, so that's an important thing. Obviously I'm not known as that here or on other forums, but...I can't do much about that at the moment, outside of just let the right people know that it's me. So I've set up a Facebook page but it's not finished yet. Once I'm satisfied, I'll post it (so everyone better follow it! :P). Unless I somehow come up with some amazing new name that I fall in love with AND doesn't come up in Google, this is probably the best thing. I personally don't think it flows that well as an author's name but maybe that's just because it's MY name and I kind of got screwed out of any potential pen names based on it that I've been able to find.

Also, I still haven't heard from my sister so Harper Grace and HG Kelly are definitely out. I thought that maybe if she replied and told me it was okay then I'd be okay using it, but...I'm definitely not going to use it now.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 01:52:23 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2017, 01:51:39 AM »
How do you guys feel about using the word "scribbles" in an author website/Facebook page? Does it seem unprofessional, or do you think it would be okay? I think I've seen it in at least one person's author website, but that doesn't mean much. I'm just wondering 'cause I think something along those lines might flow a bit better, at least for the website, if it's AllyKellyScribbles.com. But right now I just have "fantasy writer" in the Facebook page, and I imagine that the website should probably match that as well. Like AllyKellyFantasyWriter.com is too long, but AllyKellyScribbles.com is just short enough to work. But then I'd need to make the Facebook page match that, probably.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 01:53:39 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Xanxa

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2017, 07:43:21 PM »
I've voted in the poll but it would seem that's become redundant if you're going to stick with using your given name as your pen name.

As for the term "scribbles", it strikes me as how a hobbyist writer might describe their efforts.  Since you're a dedicated writer and not a dabbler, I think it would give the wrong impression. 

My Facebook author page is called Xanxa Symanah Wallace - Author.   (I drop the Wallace for my pen name, but I use it on Facebook because it's my legal surname  and you know how insistent they are about using "real names").  In the description of the page, I've added the details about me being a fantasy author.  I decided to keep things simple.  So perhaps you could try Ally Kelly - Author.  It should become fairly obvious once anyone views the page what genre you write. 
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2017, 07:47:14 PM »
I've voted in the poll but it would seem that's become redundant if you're going to stick with using your given name as your pen name.

As for the term "scribbles", it strikes me as how a hobbyist writer might describe their efforts.  Since you're a dedicated writer and not a dabbler, I think it would give the wrong impression. 

My Facebook author page is called Xanxa Symanah Wallace - Author.   (I drop the Wallace for my pen name, but I use it on Facebook because it's my legal surname  and you know how insistent they are about using "real names").  In the description of the page, I've added the details about me being a fantasy author.  I decided to keep things simple.  So perhaps you could try Ally Kelly - Author.  It should become fairly obvious once anyone views the page what genre you write. 

Yeah, that's what I had a feeling people would say. I asked @Silver and she said it sounds childish, like it reminds her of crayons, so that's definitely the wrong impression.

It feels weird calling myself an "author" when I'm not actually published, so that's why I used the word "writer" instead. "Author" feels very official, and I'm no where near being "official." And I've seen other people post links to their author pages where they've specified that they're a fantasy author/writer in the name, so that's also part of why I went with it.

Plus I literally just made myself an email address with that name. :P
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WriterDave

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2018, 03:54:03 PM »
I can't yet until I decide on a pen name
I'm curious why you want a pen name. I've seen that choice debated many times. It usually comes down to either controlling audience expectations (E.G.Amber only wirtes fantasy), or making a brand that is easy to remember, or trying to get to the front of the alphabetical que on bookshelves. I used a variation on my name when I shifted from  nonfiction to fiction, but that had to do with my concern that my science fiction wouldn't come up in searches involving scientific writing.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2018, 06:55:05 PM »
I can't yet until I decide on a pen name
I'm curious why you want a pen name. I've seen that choice debated many times. It usually comes down to either controlling audience expectations (E.G.Amber only wirtes fantasy), or making a brand that is easy to remember, or trying to get to the front of the alphabetical que on bookshelves. I used a variation on my name when I shifted from  nonfiction to fiction, but that had to do with my concern that my science fiction wouldn't come up in searches involving scientific writing.

This is an old topic and ultimately I ended up deciding not to use a pen name, but to answer your question about why I thought I wanted a pen name:

When I thought I wanted a pen name, it was because my name is really common. And it doesn't help that my last name can also be a first name. There's also the fact that a lot of fantasy writers usually end up using a pen name, especially female ones (I give you J.K. Rowling, as an example, though I forget offhand why she ended up using a pen name) if I remember right, for various reasons, like their name being really common or in order to avoid family finding their books or things like that. Luckily, my family has never been against my writing, so I don't have to worry about finding a pen name for that reason.

I still kind of do want a pen name. I still want to get a list of my ancestors on my father's (or even my mother's, if she ever finds anything out about her family tree) side of the family because then it would link me to my heritage in a special way (other than with my last name). But ultimately, I'm probably using my first and last name.
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katfireblade

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2018, 10:57:20 PM »
There's also the fact that a lot of fantasy writers usually end up using a pen name, especially female ones (I give you J.K. Rowling, as an example, though I forget offhand why she ended up using a pen name)....

A lot of women, Rowling included, started with a pen name to hide the fact they're female.

For instance:

Quote
Joanne Rowling, better known by her initials J K, does not have a middle name, according to her birth certificate. The use of the author's initials instead of her full name was a marketing ploy designed to make her work acceptable to boys, who actively choose not to read books by women.

And while she had quite the positive take on her editor's response, I am a bit less generous about his comments when she "unmasked" her gender to him on a previously written book:

Quote
I am proud to say, though, that when I "unmasked" myself to my editor David Shelley, who had read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was, "I never would have thought a woman wrote that."

I have rarely, if ever, heard a man say to another man about a well portrayed female character "I never would have thought a man wrote that!" I'm sure someone somewhere has, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't said by an editor to an author who already enjoyed some renown for talented writing.

It's one of the reasons I'll be using a pen name. Family and friends are a huge factor, but I also want people to read my books first and get disenchanted with my gender later. There's just some bullshit I really don't want to deal with.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2018, 11:14:08 PM »
There's also the fact that a lot of fantasy writers usually end up using a pen name, especially female ones (I give you J.K. Rowling, as an example, though I forget offhand why she ended up using a pen name)....

A lot of women, Rowling included, started with a pen name to hide the fact they're female.

For instance:

Quote
Joanne Rowling, better known by her initials J K, does not have a middle name, according to her birth certificate. The use of the author's initials instead of her full name was a marketing ploy designed to make her work acceptable to boys, who actively choose not to read books by women.

And while she had quite the positive take on her editor's response, I am a bit less generous about his comments when she "unmasked" her gender to him on a previously written book:

Quote
I am proud to say, though, that when I "unmasked" myself to my editor David Shelley, who had read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was, "I never would have thought a woman wrote that."

I have rarely, if ever, heard a man say to another man about a well portrayed female character "I never would have thought a man wrote that!" I'm sure someone somewhere has, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't said by an editor to an author who already enjoyed some renown for talented writing.

It's one of the reasons I'll be using a pen name. Family and friends are a huge factor, but I also want people to read my books first and get disenchanted with my gender later. There's just some bullshit I really don't want to deal with.


Yeah, I was only vaguely certain that female fantasy writers usually use pen names, which is why I didn't elaborate further on that point. XD

Mm, that's understandable. I would feel the same way. And especially with Storms of Magic, it's the first time ever that I've written anything in the point of view of TWO male characters. For years I always wrote with female main characters, but this story...the two main characters started out as secondary characters to a challenge response, but I really liked what I had going between them way more than what I had going for the main character of the story so I ended up focusing on them instead. I'm still a little nervous that I haven't quite portrayed them "correctly," but we'll see.

Another thing that I didn't bring up in my reply before was that I've essentially been using pen names when sharing my stories online for years, because I never thought to use my real name (for a LONG time, I was terrified to let people know even my nickname because my parents had knocked it into my head that I couldn't give out any of my information to anyone I interacted with online- this is back in the late 90's- and it took me years before I was brave enough to say "screw it, my name's Ally/Allison." But I still went around using different usernames like my current one, Jedi Knight Muse, and obviously I can't use THAT as a pen name, as sad as that is), and a LOT of my online friends are used to seeing a particular username attached to my stories, rather than my real name.

So I think that was originally part of my thought process, I think because of the online friends I have I thought I'd be better off using a pen name because then those people would know it was me and no one had stolen it. But honestly...at this point, the online friends that I REALLY care about knowing it's me already know my first (and last name) name anyway, 'cause we're Facebook friends. So I guess it doesn't ultimately matter any more.

On the other hand, like I said, if I still ever get my hands on a list of my ancestors, I'm going to look through the names and really think about using it as a pen name.
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Manu

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Re: Pen name poll
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2018, 05:28:04 AM »
It's even worse in Germany - we have translated versions of the successful fantasy books from the English/American market, and only a handful of all-male German fantasy authors on the bookshelves in stores. Mostly translations, though, more than 90%. The few female fantasy authors we have don't write original fantasy, but novels set in popular role playing universes. And there's one female author who co-authored (is that even a verb?) a few books together with her husband who was fairly successful in the 90s, but she doesn't have any books of her own as as far as I know.

So yeah, there's a reason I decided to go by "Manu", it's the short version of both Manuela and Manuel, so it doesn't reveal my gender.
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