maybe it’s me, but…

I was reading an author’s bio the other day and in the very first sentence it was pointed out that their name was a pseudonym.

As many of you know, I don’t generally have a problem with pen names but in this particular instance the author’s name was so clearly pulled from out of their arse made up that my response to it being a pseudonym… ‘well, no fucking shit, Sherlock’.

I mean, c’mon. Give a reader some credit why don’t you.


About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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42 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. Chris says:

    Somewhere out there is someone who has that same name and it's not a pseudonym and now you've hurt his or her feelings.

  2. Tam says:

    Well, I guess no one can say they aren't being honest. I should google Royale Icing and see if they really exist.

  3. When I was very young aspiring writer, I always signed with London Knight. Thought I was very clever. Now I don't agree with myself.

  4. Jenre says:

    See, this is my problem. There are some dreadful pen names out there – most of which sound like second rate porn stars – but there's that niggly voice in the back of my head that says 'what if it IS their real name?'.

    So I just keep quiet.

  5. I get a kick out of weird pen names.



  6. Tracy says:

    Ditto what Jenre said. The big WHAT IF just sits with me.

  7. JenB says:

    Well, my name really IS Kandi Kooter. Jen B is my pen name. And you've just hurt my feelings. *hmph*

  8. Eyre says:

    If an author is going to pick a pseudonym, I'd hope he/she would think to pick something that would occur in real life. I have to admit that really out-there names sometimes deter me from reading some books. Also, I just tend to assume that all author names are pen names until someone tells me differently.

    However, having taught 2,000 teenagers, it's hard to be surprised by the odd names that are actually real. I've taught a Tequila and a Tad–porn star names definitely. If I could post their last names, none of you would believe me!

    Then there are the misspellers–I've taught 5 girls named Chastity whose moms spelled it Chassity.

    Jen, Kandi Kooter? LMAO!

    Perhaps I should start writing and come up with a pseudonym.

    How about one of these:

    Ophelia Upson
    Glory Hole
    Ginger Lee
    Ivy Crabb
    Maureen Lester (You can call me Mo.)

  9. Tam says:

    Glory Hole. BWAHAHAHAHA

  10. Kris says:

    Chris: What, you think that there is someone out there called Hello Kitty? 😛

    Tam: There's being honest and there's being weird about it. In this case, for me at least, the honesty majorly backfired.

    Miranda: So why did you choose the name London Knight?? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

  11. Kris says:

    Jen: LOL. Yeah, there is that. In this case, though, the eyebrow raising was highlighted by the 'this is a pseudonym' comment. I think I would have preferred to have been left with the niggle.

    MsM: Me too. Some set me giggling, especially some of the wacky ones used in erotica. *g*

    Tracy: That's cos you live in California and are used to weird arse names. 😛

  12. Kaetrin says:

    I'm never too sure about names – there are some weirdass ones around – my son goes to school with a Belle-Paree (I shit you not) and a Heavenli. I had an aerobics instructor once (many years ago when exercise and I were still on speaking terms) (she used to wear the most amazing g-string leotards – no wonder there was a high male contingent in her classes – but I digress) – anyhoo, her hubby's name was Elvis. She told me when she first met him she said “so, why do they call you Elvis?” and he said, deadpan – “cause that's my name”. So even if they're stupid names, they could still be real. Makes it really hard to target the mockery….

    (for the record, I don't worry too much about pen names either way – you can often see the real one in the copyright info anyway.)

  13. Kris says:

    Kandi Kooter: I knew you were hiding something from me. You've hurt MY feelings. *hmpf*

    Eyre: “I have to admit that really out-there names sometimes deter me from reading some books.”

    I have exactly the same reaction.

    I'm always fascinated that names reflect fads in our society. For example, there were the Bold & Beautiful names, then there were the 90210 names, and now there's probably the Twilight ones… *sigh* Maybe I should say that I am fascinated as well as being disappointed about our imaginations or lack there of.

    Disclaimer: Humble apologies to those of you who actually did name your child Brandon or Brenda. I'm sure that they will not have any of the probs such as nifty sideburns and being sacked that those two characters did.

  14. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: “… you can often see the real one in the copyright info anyway…”

    And with that you have given away a whole heap of authors' secrets. LOL. I confess that I always have a squiz at this page too when it comes to author names.

    “So even if they're stupid names, they could still be real. Makes it really hard to target the mockery….”

    I'll try to remember that. 😉

  15. Kaetrin says:

    Actually I know someone who's children are named Edward and (Isa)Bella. Believe it or not there is no connection to Twilight. I wonder if she regrets her choice now?

  16. Kaetrin says:

    @ Kris – thx for that. Are the Yaoui terms from Japanese words or are they short for something else? (enquiring minds and all that)

  17. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: “I wonder if she regrets her choice now?”

    If her kids are still young, probably. I bet they get teased.

    No probs for the explanation. 🙂 My understanding is that they are Japanese derivatives (is that the right word?). The terms actually come from martial arts.

  18. LOL! I go by a pseudonym here online and it's my pseudonym for writing. Too many would be horribly offended if I said half the stuff I did under my real name. lol

    That being said, there are some names that make me scratch my head. I mean, they're obvious pen names, but they're so bad you wonder why they chose them to begin with. *shakes head*

  19. Anonymous says:

    I'm more likely to skip a book if it's by an author whose pen name is clearly something that has no relation to a real name.

    Some names which have made me look twice are: Crymsyn Hart, Rayne Forrest, Raine Delight, Desiree Erotique, Pam Champagne, Sapphire Blue, and the single-named Mima, Mya, and Xakara.

    My apologies if those are their real names, and I'm sure they could be great authors. Chime in with any recommendations, people. I'd just rather see a plausible name.

    I did get a book by Auburnimp, as much as that sounds purely like a fan fiction name. It was a collaboration with someone who did have a real-sounding name.


  20. Kris says:

    Bridget: Well, I can hardly talk cos although Kris is my name it's not like I go telling everyone who I am in RL. *she says hopefully*

    “but they're so bad you wonder why they chose them to begin with”


    Rose: I had to laugh at your comment. I have the book by Auburnimp too and one of the reasons I bought it was because of the pen name. I'm nothing if not contradictory. LOL.

    It's the pseuds that try – and I do mean try – to be clever that get me like Iwanna B. Ariter or similar. Fuck knows how you are meant to take anyone with a name like that seriously.

  21. nichem says:

    Some of the pseudonyms make me roll my eyes. I'm more apt to take a book seriously if it at least sounds like a real name and not a porn star. 😛

    Though, as Jen said, you never know. I went to school with 2 sisters named Honey and Candy Conn. And there's the urban legend around hospitals about the person who named their twins Lemonjello and Orangejello.

  22. Kris says:

    Richelle: “I went to school with 2 sisters named Honey and Candy Conn.”

    *snort* Dare I ask what professions they ended up going into? 😉

  23. Eyre says:

    I tend to steer clear of the single name authors. Unless you are Cher, Madonna, etc., you need a last name.

  24. Kris says:

    *rips up application to be renamed Kristheawesome*

  25. Eyre says:

    Hon, you can be Kris The Awesome. See, Awesome would be your last name!

    A few years ago, there was a guy who legally changed his name to Trout Fishing in America. If you want to be Kris The Awesome, go for it!

  26. Chris says:

    Eyre: Wait. I thought that was a band that played kids music… (The song “I Think I Need a Band-Aid” is classic!)

  27. Eyre says:

    Chris, it is! However, there was a guy who changed his name to that because he liked the Brautigan book so much.

  28. Kris says:

    Eyre: I thought that incorporating 'awesome' into my first name would be less pretentious, but if you think it's okay…

  29. Rose says:

    Pseudonyms quite often make me wonder how people can go so wrong but I've come across real names that prove there's no limit to going wrongness, I've met/studied in the same institution as TWO Smileys, one Shiney and ONE 'Faith Hope and Charity'. 😀

  30. Kris says:

    Rose, you've actually met someone named Faith Hope and Charity?? O_o

    I think you win. LOL.

  31. orannia says:

    OK, reading all of these names should have a warning…do not read while drinking!

    And my mother went to school with a Ronald and Donald MacDonald…

  32. Kris says:

    Orannia: Ronald McDonald? The poor, poor kid. At least, it probably wasn't until later in his life – by which time he'd hopefully grown thick skin – that he would have been teased to buggery about his name. One would hope so anyway. Eeep.

  33. Tam says:

    This is an hilarious thread because often the real names are so much worse than the pen names. Although Crymsyn is pushing it. But I'm really disappointed I didn't name my kid Xakara because she's so from the 9th Nebula of Resus.

    I've heard the orangejello lemonjello story. Not sure it's true. However I have friends in Alabama and some of the names they have listed either of kids or people who apply for jobs are breathtaking. One has a BIL who is an OBGyn so he sees the new baby names and reports back on wacky ones. The worst I saw was Abcde – pronounced Absodie. I wonder if their second child was Fghij – pronounced Fee (the gh is silent.

  34. Eyre says:

    I've heard the urban legends about the kid named Shithead (pronounced Sha-theed) and Nevaeh (Heaven backwards). I actually saw a woman with Nevaeh tattooed on her neck while I was in Food Lion the other day.

  35. Kris – I picked London Knight because I was a hopeless romantic 😉

    As for my real name, listen to the lovely singsong syllables of “Mindy Dee” *eyeroll*

  36. Tam says:

    Nevaeh is actually gaining in popularity. I have a friend whose real name is Haven. I like that though, but her husband is one e from heaven when he's with her. LOL

    I knew a woman on a parenting board who had three kids. Two girls, Mercedes and Lexus and a boy Aston. Not sure if his middle name was Martin.

  37. Eyre says:

    LOL, Tam! One semester I taught two Mercedes and a Harley. I kept waiting for Volvo and Audi to walk into class.

  38. When you ask anyone who has the pseudonym, Brooks or Sparrow, they will ALWAYS flag Sparrow. They are wrong.

    In town we have a Dr. Ovary (orthopedist). Hood, Pagan & Associates (a law firm, clearly evil). And my night driver is named Lewis Clark.

    I never assume ANYONE is using a pseud anymore.

  39. Kris says:

    God, some of these names are killing me. LOL.

    Miranda, hun, not sure about the hopeless but you are definitely a romantic. 😉

    Angelia: “Hood, Pagan & Associates (a law firm, clearly evil).”

    Obviously. *snicker*

  40. Kaetrin says:

    I knew a couple (strict Christian teetotallers) who named their first son Jack Daniel and didn't understand at all when everyone sniggered.

  41. I once worked for a credit card company & when someone would call and enter their cc numbers, their names would auto-populate.

    Guy's name popped up, I double-taked and then I had to talk to him. I kid you not, this is the man's real name. Dick Pitshitter. Yes, you read that correctly. I got the hysterical giggles and had to transfer the call to my supervisor b/c I couldn't stop laughing. The worst part? He was a junior. LOL

  42. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: *snort* That's an absolute classic. 🙂


    Dick Pitshitter Junior?? What a total bastard his dad must have been to make his son go through the same hell that he would have done. That's plain mean. Fucking funny, but mean.

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