|Mary Anne Evans|
AKA George Eliot
Silas Marner was written by George Eliot whose real name was Mary Anne Evans. High school and college students still study her works including Adam Bede.
AKA Eric Bell
Heathcliff and Jane Eyre live on in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Novelist sisters Charlotte, Emily, and AnneBronte all wrote under pseudonyms when they were first published. They chose to present themselves as brothers. Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre as Currer Bell; Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights as Ellis Bell; and Anne Bronte's first works were published under the name Anton Bell. The sisters' first effort was a book of poetry with works by Ellis, Currer, and Anton. It was self-published and sold only two copies!
Surely times have changed enough that women freely publish their works as females, but the prejudice hasn't been fully erased. Jeanne Rowling's chronicles of Harry Potter were published under the name J.K. Rowling because her publisher believed the stories would be better accepted by young male readers if they didn't know Harry's world was created by a woman.
AKA J. K. Rowling
Eric Blair proposed four pen names to his editor. Three of them were rejected, including Kenneth Miles and P. S. Burton. The editor chose George Orwell. which Eric had selected because of the River Orwell in Suffolk, England.
Some readers assume that the Richard Bachman novels were written by Stephen King before he became successful and switched to his own name. Actually, King was already recognized and was churning out more than one book a year. His editor advised that the public wouldn't accept more than one book a year from him. King decided to publish Rage under his maternal grandfather's name--Gus Pillsbury. The pseudonym was leaked, and King changed the pen name to Richard Bachman. The name came from King looking around and seeing a Richard Stark book on his desk while listening to "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive on his stereo.
AKA Edgar Box, Cameron Kay
and Katherine Everard
|Ray Bradbury AKA Ron Reynolds, Anthony |
Corvais, Guy Amory, Doug Rogers,
William Elliott and probably others.
The late Ray Bradbury was prolific in both his work and his use of pen names. At age nineteen, he and some friends started a fanzine. In the first issue, Bradbury published his work under his own name and as Ron Reynolds. In the seccond issue, he used three pseudonyms: Anthony Corvais, Guy Amory, and Doug Rogers. His first breakthrough was in 1945 when he had three stories accepted almost simultaneously by Mademoiselle, Charm and Collier's. He'd submitted them under the name William Elliott and had to call editors to have checks cut in his real name.
Probably the best known pseudonym is Samuel Langhorne Clemens's use of Mark Twain. Closer to
many of us is Jolie McLarren Swann. The Black Orchid Novella Award published in the August. 2012, issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine is "Inner Fire" by Jolie McLarren Swann.
Rearrange the letters in Swann's name to discover the author's true name.
Join me in two weeks for continuation of this blog about pen names. I'll share with you some I use and introduce you to my friend/mentor who was a successful mystery/thriller writer who changed her pen name and has made it to the New York Times Bestseller List.
Until we meet again, take care of ...YOU!