Friday, January 11, 2008

By Any Other Name?

The hubby and I went to East Nashville earlier this week to see Elmo Buzz perform. But it wasn’t Elmo Buzz. It was Todd Snider doing a special show. But we knew that, that’s why we went. In the movie, Notting Hill, the movie star character played by Julia Roberts always used a pseudonym (a Disney character’s name I believe) when checking into a hotel. Writers use pen names. So artists of all types go by code names on occasion.

I will tip my children’s book writers’ hat to a few famous pseudonymous writers:
Lewis Carroll
Dr. Seuss
Lemony Snicket

Say you have to pick a nom de plume/code name/alias today. What would it be? How would you decide?


Shauna Roberts said...

I think if I needed to pick a pen name, I'd choose an ancestor's last name, maybe Mendenhall (earlier "Mildenhall" and earlier yet "de Mildenhall") or Hornaday (which itself was a pseudonym used by two brothers who stowed away on a ship to America; the "horn a day" has something to do with a measure of rum). They're easily pronounceable yet unusual.

For the first name I'd pick Alienor (in honor of Eleanore of Aquitaine), Christine (in honor of Christine de Pizan), or Anne (just because I like it).

OK, maybe "Anne Hornaday." I think I like that combination best.

How would you choose a name? And what names would you choose?

Rae Ann Parker said...

Hmmm. Oh, if only I had this problem. I think using a family name would be fun. I would probably choose a pseudonym the same way I choose character's names. I make a list of names I like. I also use a baby name book that sits on my desk for ideas.

Kristin Tubb said...

I'm too greedy to use a pen name - I want people to *know* who did all that hard work! Hee hee! Interesting question, Rae Ann! Thanks!

©Hotbutton Press said...

I've already decided I will use my childhood nickname and my German grandmother's surname for children's books.

Ele H. :)

Tom said...

Hey Rae,
Interesting thought. I think I would use the pen name Fiasco Shaggy. Fiasco after my computer, and shaggy after a nickname from high school. If nothing else, the name would be remembered.

Rae Ann Parker said...

Tom, I think your pen name would definitely be hard to forget.

I have heard other authors say they use nicknames as well.