Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Author behind the Pseudonym

Have you ever wondered why Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote as Lewis Carroll? Or why Theodor Seuss Geisel better known as Dr. Seuss had not one but two pseudonyms? Find the answers in the following infographic reblogged with the kind permission of Jonkers Rare Books.  


The Author Behind the Pseudonym #Infographic


I've been playing the literary name game and came up with Bobby Anne Harding for a possible pen name. This combination of my nickname, middle name and mother’s maiden name has quite a ring to it don’t you think?  If I wanted to disguise my gender, I could use the shorter and more masculine sounding Bob Harding.

What pen name would you / do you use?

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42 comments:

  1. Well, if I follow your lead that would make me Morris Jane Poole!
    Thanks for an interesting blog post.

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    1. Hi Marina, or should I say Morris, that’s a great name! Thanks for your visit and for commenting.

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  2. What a fascinating post. I am learning Italian and one of the teachers I follow suggests having an alter-ego/ideal self. I would be her name for a pseudonym- Chiara Di Angeli. I would then write about Italy,beauty in all forms, food, mromance...You inspire me Barbara/Bobby Anne/Bob!

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    1. What a great name, my choice was very pedestrian compared to that. You inspire me every day Colleen, thank you for that.

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  3. How fun was this! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. However, I'm just not as creative as them. I use DM Yates, which is really my name: Donna Marie Yates. Theirs were all much better.

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    1. Hi Donna, I’ve always wondered about the M, thanks for enlightening me. Marie is such a pretty name.

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  4. Pick a name eh! A N Other, Tom Orrow, Miss D Meanour , Topsy Turvey or my second favourite Percy Veerance, ( just beat Fred into third place, because like ants I persevere ) but first has to go to the choice of the author of this superb blog.......Bobby Anne. Like it lots

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    1. Miss D Meanour made me smile, and of course I know you as Percy on Twitter, but I still prefer your given name. Bobby Anne is a reminder of those carefree days when we were children, it all seems a long time ago now.

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  5. That was great.
    I decided that if a pen name became necessary for me it would be John Vincent - my dad's two first names.

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    1. John Vincent even sounds like an author! Good choice Roger.

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  6. Hi human, Barbara,

    That was most informative and fascinating. Dr. Seuss evidently wanted to do a collaboration with Mr. Shakespeare. Something about, Green Eggs and Hamlet." Arf!

    My paw name, um, pen name, is Gary aka klahanie. Yes, my human is actually a fictional character created by me.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny! :)

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    1. Hi Penny, love the Green Eggs and Hamlet hehe

      I would love to know the origins of Klahanie. I must pop over to your blog and go back to the start. I’ve read most of your recent posts but not the older ones. I wonder if it will reveal all.

      Pawsitive wishes to you Penny & to Gary.

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    2. Hi human, Barbara,

      Here's the origins of the name, "Klahanie". "Klahanie" is a word from the Chinook Tribe who are located on the Pacific Northwest of North America. The definition of 'Klahanie', is generally accepted as meaning "The Great Outdoors."

      More pawsitive wishes to you, my kind human friend.

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    3. Hi Penny & Gary, I learn something new everyday. Thank you so much! :-)

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  7. I've never used a pen name, but if I did, I think it would be Christine Hamilton (my middle name and mother's maiden name).

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    1. Perfect - but you have a nice name anyway. Thanks for calling in.

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  8. Goodness! All behind to~day....Must be these
    tight pants...(trousers)..! :).

    I must say, as non reader, l found this very
    interesting. Some of the books of course made
    into films...Like...'Strangers on a Train' with
    Farley Granger and Robert Walker starring..!

    Interesting to know peoples Pseudonyms..(Glad
    someone can spell it)..or l suppose more commonly
    know as..AKA...! I have my full name, with 5 Christian
    names, and my stage name, still very much in use,
    and my family name, Piazza, still very much in use!
    HeHe! Take your pick...! :).

    All very interesting Barbara....Even seeing photos of
    the actual authors, seeing what they look at.
    For me! As l don't read books, don't think l'll ever
    write one, either! If l did...l'd use a silly name like,
    say, 'Aloysis Peabody'...HaHa! Just remembered a boys
    name in my class at school...'Gordon Bennett'. Truly! :).

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    1. Tight pants, all behind, just think of the spam I will be getting now! He he

      Was that a Hitchcock film? It’s ringing bells with me but the only Hitchcock I really remember is The Birds – mostly because it frightened the life out of me. Don’t worry about having to reply to that question I will go and Google it in a bit.

      Aloysis Peabody it is then! As for Gordon Bennett, what can one say? My dad would have said, “it beggars belief”so I will say that too. :)

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  9. Oh, now that was FUN!!!!!!! That is a great compilation of some of my FAVORITES! And your question at the end, now that is a good question. What would my nom de plume be? I have to think about it but I will come up with something!

    Dearest Barbara, how are you? Have a wonderful day! Anita

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    1. Hello my lovely friend! I’m well and enjoying the day, hope the same is true for you.

      If I notice a name change on your blog, I will know you’ve thought of a brilliant pen name! :-) xx

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  10. Bobby Anne Harding sounds like a romance author, while Bob Harding definitely does crime, or thrillers! Both very plausible. I write under the name S.P.Moss which is my maiden name. I did the thing with the initials, not to disguise that I'm female (it's pretty obvious from my author photo ...) but because I felt it fitted the retro style better.

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    1. Hi Sue, all I have to do now is write those books!

      I think you are right about the retro style, and you are in good company. P.G. Wodehouse, J.M. Barrie, E.E. Cummings, J.D. Salinger, H.G. Wells there must be lots more but those are the names who spring to mind.

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  11. Such an interesting compilation of pseudonyms Barbara. I don't think I could write a book though :-)

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    1. Hello Shashi, I used to think I might one day but having taken up blogging I now know I don’t have it in me. There are so many great writers out there I think I will leave it to them. Thanks for coming over for a visit and commenting on lots of posts, I really appreciate it.

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  12. A very interesting post. When I was a teenager and dabbled in writing, I used the pen name Shirley Dale, after my favourite teacher and my middle name. When I actually decided to write for publication, I preferred to use my actual name.

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    1. That’s interesting Darlene, and I do think your name suits the books you write. Shirley Dale sounds like the writer of romantic fiction. Funny to think your writing might have gone in a completely different direction if you had chosen to publish under that name.

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    2. Should I ever venture into romantic fiction, I may go back to Shirley Dale!

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  13. Hi Barbara, here I am after a long absence from reading/writing blogs. It's interesting to see the pseudonyms and there is a connection with Lewis Carroll and our local town. The village is Daresbury and there is a window dedicated to him in the church.

    Pen name - I can't think of what I could call myself, although in my current thread of interest, maybe Delta Wing would be appropriate?

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    1. Hello Anne Marie aka Delta Wing – brilliant name!!
      I shall Google Daresbury as soon as I’ve left this comment, I’m curious.
      Thanks for visiting, Barbara x

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  14. I love your pen name, Barbara. Bobby Anne Harding carries quite an adventurous ring! I didn't know JCO has a pen name, too. (Shame. And I call myself a fan.) Not sure what I'd call myself though I'd love to have "Rose" somewhere. Or "Woods." Oh yea, now I remember, when I attended a Gotham Writers' workshop, I called myself "Matilda Rose."

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    1. Hello Claudine, I missed your comment when I was replying to others earlier, I’m sorry about that I’m glad I came back to check. Matilda Rose is a lovely name, but Matilda Rose Woods would also work! Thanks for coming over, Bobby Anne Harding!

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  15. What a fascinating post! I had no idea that so many of the authors featured used pen names. So interesting to learn more about them and when/why they used the names. I love the pen name you came up with, Barbara! I have thought about a pen name, but I am not sure what I would use. :)

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    1. Thanks Stephanie, glad you enjoyed the post.

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  16. Bit late commenting on this, but really enjoyed the blog and all the comments. Think my name would have to be "Rebecca Socks Stopps". xxx

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    1. Hi Sue, there is no time limit on commenting so you are certainly not late, and it’s lovely to hear from you. I’m guessing Rebecca is because it’s your middle name and/or the name of your Godmother, Stopps because it’s a family name – but Socks? You are going to have to enlighten me on that one.

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  17. Love this post and find all the trivia of pen names fascinating. I think your potential pen name has a great ring to it, too. I'll let you know if I ever think of one...

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    1. Hi Marcia, I found it interesting too, and I was pleased when Jonkers Rare Books allowed me to share it. Have a lovely day.

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  18. Okay Bob, this is fascinating stuff. I hung onto every word and even re-read portions. Loved this post and tweeted it. I can see why people would want to protect their family from embarrassment or that people are or were biased against women but other than that I'm not sure I'd want a pseudonym. But I thought about my name backwards and loved the result--especially because of the connection to the desert. So if you see LaAgave on a poem--you'll know it's me or a bottle of tequila. LOL

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    1. That really is a fabulous name Eve, you should certainly use it! I tried reversing my name somehow it doesn’t work so well – Arabrab Rehsif!

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  19. Thank you for reveling the mysteries behind some of these pen names. Great post!

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    1. Thanks Diane, glad you enjoyed it.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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