Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Need a Pen Name!

I've decided I need a pen name or a pseudonym, call it what you will.

Last night I started to read through some women's magazines with a view to sending in some short stories I'd written and I realised my stories were.... probably too good. (Take everything I say with a pinch of salt, Readers.) I need to dumb them down! Yep, I need to add in a few stray dogs, some cardboard elephants (yes, they did actually appear in one story I read) or a cat stuck up a chimney. In all probability the heroine should also fall over/fall out of a boat/fall off stage so that she can be kissed by the hero in a moment of mad impetuousness. She should also work in a either a cake shop, a florists or own a small holding in the Scottish highlands where she weaves yarn for a living.

Oh, and it would also help if she has been tragically bereaved.

I want to shoot myself. My writing is not designed for women's magazines.

In fact, I don't think it is designed for anyone but me. Hmm..bit of a problem if you want a career as a writer....

Anyway, I'm going to test the waters with two stories, so I need a pen name so I don't die from excrutiating embarrassment if they ever get published. So give it your best shot, Readers. The winner gets access to my secret love child with Arnold Schwarzengger.....

Ho hum.


  1. How about Staedtler Parker (that's two pen names)

  2. Very, very Good Mr A. I'm liking it -very clever which means the magazinerReaders will never pick up the humour of it. Excellent.

    Also suggested from one of my writing friends Melanie and Crystal - just in case I get "edgy" and want to write as "Chris".

  3. Regina Humpalot. You're welcome.

  4. Naughty, naughty Sy:)

    Now the readers of these magazines, very possibily, have an average age of 83 -so I think there's a certain irony in that name Sy:))

  5. Peter A got in first with my first choice (Parker), so I'll have to think again.
    You could always tailor your pen name to the magazine's readership. If it's a Mills and Boon type of mag, how about Melissa Bodice? And if it's intended for more *cough* independent ladies (the sort who wear bovver boots, DM's and severe haircuts), then Shuna 'Spike' Ball-Breaker, should do the trick!
    Don't worry, I don't charge for this advice!

  6. Taule - took me a while to figure it out Mike - and the suddenly it clicked!!!!!! (There's no holding me back when the brain cells are working!)

    So Taule is good - but Penelope? I think that's a little posh for me - remember I'm just a plain Jane:))

  7. Martin.. Melissa Bodice. You know I'm thinking Melissa/ Melanie are definitely on the right track...Bodice though? I think possibly.it's too daring. Remember some of these lady readers are almost past the point of no return - I don't want to be sending them on their way:)

    Shuna "Spike" Ball Breaker? I like it! Although, I admit I am not beyond writing the odd slightly saucy sentence I'm not sure if I quite up to that concept...


  8. How 'bout using a gemstone as a last name?

  9. G - I think you are defintely thinking on the right lines for a ladies mag of the sort I've described. Something like... Melanie Pearl would probably go down a treat:)

  10. Robyn something. Or Rowan. Something vaguely bohemian. India say. Or Jessamy.

    Jessamy Jones.

    And maybe there should be a Lee in there.

    Jessamy Lee Carter

  11. Hmm... something vaguely bohemian -this isn't Cosmo Mrs A this is Aged Weekly!! However, I take your point...there is a certain appeal about the bohemian, even to the elderly...

    Oh the Lee bit is an excellent idea! A posh bohemian... we are striking all the right chords here...

  12. Janey Turle

    Janey (maiden name)

    Jessamy (maiden name)

    Have become a bit fixated with Jessamy. The old ladies will love it.

  13. You know I think the old ladies will love Jessamy Mrs A - never heard of it till you mentioned it - did you make it up?!

    India is out by the way - distant relative on Mr T's side.

  14. No it's an actual name. Rather women's mag writerish doncha think?

  15. Ooh what fun! Almost as good as naming babies.

    I think Martin is absolutely on the right track. Tailor the name to the readership (but don't make it too flowery or they'll smell a rat). Ho hum ... Virginia (Something)? Jilly? Angela?

    I'm thinking: lavender-scented drawer liners, bedsocks, Stannah stairlifts ...

    Of course, if you can't decide, have LOTS of pseudonyms. Why not? Bust loose! Have some fun! You can always settle on something later.

  16. It is indeed Mrs Jessamy A! I think it fits well with a story about a woman with a golden retriever somehow...maybe he loses his collar or something overly dramatic like that...

    Jessamy Lee Parker?

  17. I'm definitely thinking Stannah Stair Lifts here Fordfocusmum:))

    Ohhh...numerous pen names! I like it.

    Talking of tailoring the name for the readership the US have just started publishing a (milder) version of Playgirl in the UK. I wonder if they need any romping stories? I'd need a fruity pen name for them - something like Vivien Vixen:)

  18. Yes, you could have 'stables' of stories as in: 'a Tallulah Clothes-Off story' or 'a Shirley Farthing' story. It's a bit like multiple personalities, I think - or (and this is what they really are) brand names. Sorry, am I getting a bit carried away here?

  19. Feel free to get carried away Fordfocusmum:) I get carried away frequently! Yes, a brand name. That's exactly what it is! Right, I need a sensible name for my literary stuff...it's clearly not Jane Turley so any ideas FFM?!


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