What Did You Call Me?

Have you heard of these authors?

  • Robert Galbraith
  • J.D. Robb
  • Anne Rampling
  • Richard Bachman

They are all authors you know well, but you can’t place their names. That’s because the list above gives the pseudonyms or pen names for very famous writers.

Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling.
J.D. is Nora Roberts.
Anne Rampling is Anne Rice.
Richard Bachman is Stephen King.

Pseudonym is derived from the Greek word pseudonymon which literally means false name. They are used to conceal one’s identify in many walks of life from business to criminal activity to fashion or sports, literature, religion, acting, etc. You can probably list a few you know right off hand.

Here’s a quick list I compiled. The person’s legal name is in parentheses. Source

Al Capone (Alphonse Gabriel Capone)
Babe Ruth (George Herman Ruth, Jr.)
Billy the Kid (William H. Bonney; born William Henry McCarty, Jr.)
Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker)
Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)
Coco Chanel (Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel)
Elizabeth Arden (Florence Nightingale Graham)
Estée Lauder (Josephine Esther Mentzer)
Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch)
Malcolm X (Malcolm Little)
Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones)
Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu)
Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson)
Rocky Marciano (Rocco Francis Marchegiano)
Shirley MacLaine (Shirley MacLean Beaty)
Sugar Ray Leonard (Ray Charles Leonard)
Sugar Ray Robinson (Walker Smith Jr.)
The Sundance Kid (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh)

So Why Use a Pseudonym?
Your name doesn’t fit the genre. Particularly in romance or science fiction, you may consider using an abbreviated name or something that doesn’t draw attention to your true identity. If you want to write erotica, this is true as well.

You want to conceal your real identity. When I started writing paranormal fantasy and the majority of my stories were about vampires, I elected to create a pseudonym. I wanted to be able to promote and discuss my books without posting anything about it on my social media pages. My family and friends have an idea of how weird I am, but they don’t know the overall range I bounce around in. 😛 Thus Ally Thomas was born. (In addition to a few other pseudonyms I write under.)

Your name is too hard to pronounce or spell. Before I married, my maiden name was difficult to spell. It was so bad, I had to create a story to go along with it to show how to put the name together.

You’ve been given a truly bad name to start with. Sometimes our parents don’t realize what they are doing with they give us an odd or unique first name or we happen to have an unusual family name. I happen to know one friend who named her first some after a demon and I’m not talking about the kid from the movie, The Omen.

You want to expand into other genres. It’s not really a well-known fact, but many male authors write romance or erotica. You wouldn’t guess that because they don’t use their legal names or a male pseudonym.


Weekend Writing – 3 Steps

Who’s writing this weekend? If you’re like me, you likely have just a few hours or minutes – here and there – through the week to write. Having a full-time job is annoying sometimes, but it does pay the bills. When the writing is paying the bills full-time, then we can let the job go. Right?

Until then…

So the plan this weekend is to get some writing done. The project I started a few weeks ago is still going, but slowly. I’ve gone from having 0 words on the page to having over 5,000. That may not sound like much. Of course, it’s not the length of a full novel, but it’s a start. Also it’s a good start for me considering in the past couple of years, I write out an idea and after getting 2,300 words written, the idea sort of falls apart.

That’s why…

I’ve decided to get organized. I always thought since I had to be very organized with my full-time job, I could pull back from that with my writing. I could simply just sit down and write. In the beginning, that did work for me. But now I feel like it’s more complicated than that. Or it really needs to be more thought out and planned.

If I want to think of my fiction writing being a full-time job some day, now’s the time to start treating it like a full-time job.

Step 1 – Plan it out…

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about my story while I commute to work. It’s helped me to summarize in my head what I want to write about the next time I sit down at the computer. It can be one simple scene or an idea for the overall plot.

I’ve always dreaded looking at the blank page when I sit down to write. Now with having an idea already planned about what I want to get done in the 30 minutes or an hour I have, I can actually do that. Remember thinking is a lot like planning. If jotting out your ideas on paper first helps you formalize your plan for what you want to write, that can work too.

Step 2 – Keep writing and planning…


When I started this experiment, I thought I needed to write every chance I got. I’m learning that it’s a good option to give myself a brief break as well. I’ll write for about 30 minutes in the morning. Then at lunch I’ll take my journal with me and write 10 or 15 minutes as well. Having a set day each week to write a blog here has helped too.

Since we live in a society that keeps us over-saturated with information, I have found that I need the break to just think. I’m trying to get better about not checking my email or social media as much on my phone, and instead devote that time to brainstorming about my story. I’ll email myself a scene idea or string of dialogue I want to use the next I write.

Step 3 – Be patient with your progress…

As I’ve mentioned recently, I tend to be impatient with what I dream of doing and what I end of doing. I regret not been more prolific the past couple of years, but that’s not going to help me now.

Instead I’m being patient with myself, doing something each day or every other day that gets me closer to my dreams and my goals.

Keep Writing, everyone!

Follow Me on Wattpad & Discover More of My Writings

Join Wattpad and read my books for FREE there. Recently I’ve become more interested in Wattpad and I’m sharing my FREE ebooks there. I am also sharing (Only On Wattpad) excerpts from my other books, First draft chapters of upcoming books, and various short stories, and flash fiction. 

If you follow me on Wattpad, it will be your way to read first what I’m working on!


Here’s my Wattpad profile. It’s free to sign up. You can immediately sign up through your Facebook or Twitter account. When a person you are following posts a story, an email is sent out to everyone (similar to WordPress here if you follow any blogs like mine). You’ll also discover tons of other authors you can follow and read their books for Free. Commenting on stories, voting, and connecting with other readers is the whole reason of this community. I’ve already met several authors and writers who have wonderful books they are sharing for free just for fans to read.


In the past few weeks, I’ve been able to recruit several new followers and I’m really excited about that. I went from 31 followers to now 69. I hope the list just continues to grow after that. Wattpad is a fun and easy way to read authors’ stories as well as meeting other people who love to write, and/or read. If you want to get started writing yourself, it’s a great place to begin. If you have any questions about Wattpad, comment on this article and ask me. I hope to see you there soon! Again here’s my Wattpad profile.

Books of mine that will be FREE in their entirety will be:

The Vampire from Hell: The Beginning – Part One 

The Vampire from Hell (Part 2) – A Vampire Among Angels

Love Begins in Hell (The Moon Journals: Part 1) 

Fanged Love: The Prequel


Excerpts from The Vampire from Hell series are currently live. I have 6 of the 12 chapters in A Vampire on Vacation (Part 3) and the first 4 chapters of The Vampire from Hell Returns (Part 4) on Wattpad too.


My hope for 2014 is to use Wattpad’s platform as a way to write first drafts of various books I’m working on. For 2014, I’ll be working on Part 5 and 6 for The Vampire from Hell series, another part in the Moon Journals, and maybe a few new chapters for the Zombie Wolf and Fanged Love series.

If you want to get involved as I write and participate, sign up and Follow me on Wattpad. Again here’s my Wattpad profile. I hope to see you there soon!