Tag Archives: publishing novel

How to Choose a Pen Name

Shot answer: I have no idea.

I know I need one, that’s for sure. I need one soon, and I have no idea how to choose/create it. Needless to say, this is unsettling.

Why do I need a pen name? Technically, I don’t. My name is good enough. My maiden name didn’t suit my first name at all, but that’s another story. But since I want to write in English (I do! I promise!) I need something (hypothetical) English-speakers can spell and pronounce.

But that’s not all. I also want something gender neutral. And culture (ethnicity? race?) neutral. I am honestly not sure if it’s even possible to create such a pen name.

To be honest, I don’t need it at the moment. But I guess I need some time to get used to it, so it’s better to create it now so I could be comfortable with it after a while. I’m one of those people who believe a name is just a marker; it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not who I really am. But then again I can’t imagine my novel published under name “Jane Smith”.

At least I know what I’ll do with my NaNo novel. I will order a proof copy and I need a name for the cover, so I guess I’ll use an alias I am already comfortable with. This one. Jefflion. I might add some initials in front of it (M, T, or U , or all – M standing for my name, T for my maiden name and U for my last name), but we’ll see.

I guess I’m making this more complicated than it should be. Sure choosing a pen name should be fun, right? Not for me. I have zero ideas. Maybe that’s because I don’t even know what is considered gender (and culture) neutral name? Or becuase I can’t create a “catchy” name? Or both?