This write-up is purely inspired from Victoria’s latest blog post about Pseudonyms. Interesting read that made me write too.
How does author like Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling), the author of famous Harry Potter series, go about writing a novel of totally different genre, and of different taste that has different audience. Rowling’s novel “The Casual Vacancy” published around a year ago was an adult novel that came as a surprise to many. Her move from children’s literature to adult literature was something unexpected but this novel received much appreciation and applaud.
“The thing about fantasy—there are certain things you just don’t do in fantasy. You don’t have sex near unicorns. It’s an ironclad rule. It’s tacky.”
“There is no part of me that feels that I represented myself as your children’s babysitter or their teacher. I was always, I think, completely honest. I’m a writer, and I will write what I want to write.” – J.K. Rowling, The Newyorker
Joanne Rowling, uses short names for her first and middle name, and interestingly she does not have a middle name at all. J.K. Rowling, looks like a male name, and it was supposed to look like a male name for Harry Potter to get attention of Boys.
Its interesting, authors use pseudonyms, and different names sometimes to come up with their new work, just to see if their work is as much appreciated without their name for their previous work.
Rowling’s new Secret book The Cuckoo’s Calling, under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith” has stunned people too. It turned out to be a big hit, with completely a different name, a male name this time.
Stephen King, a famous author wanted to see if his books would be as successful when written by Richard Bachman. J.D. Robb, Danielle Steele, Linda Howard all have done the same thing, either to earn name for their writings, or to be able to jump into another genre without risking their current repo. Some of the authors like Eric Blair chose it for different reasons, for his family not to feel ashamed of having a writer in family.
Female authors apart from above reasons choose pseudonyms of males because they think their gender is not letting their work being recognized or taken seriously. Women like the Bronte sisters ( Acton, Currer, and Ellis Bell for Anne, Charlotte, and Emily), used male names in order to have careers at all.
And the number goes on.. hundreds of authors have used their pen names and pseudonyms for different reasons.