Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I Have To Change My Name

By Connie S. Hall

A pen name is a pseudonym used in place of your legal name. An author may choose a pen name for one of many reasons. Maybe your name is long. Perhaps you think it’s uninteresting, or sounds silly or stupid. It’s possible that your name is difficult to remember, spell, or pronounce.

If you are already an established author, you might want to use a pen name because you are writing in a different genre than you normally do and you don’t want to confuse or upset your regular readers.

In my case, I may be confused with another writer. Our names are the same, except I use a middle initial. I can’t use my maiden name because it’s the same as a famous figure, Connie Smith.

How do I know all this? I finally followed Darvell’s suggestion and googled my name. Can you believe there is already an author by the name of Connie Hall? Just adding the initial S to my name won’t help. Connie Hall has published a book called “Rare Breed.” It sounds like a good book, and my type of thing, but I can’t use the same name. I wonder if she is the same one who published a book called “The Big Easter Trip.” Also under Connie Hall, I found a songwriter who wrote “Fool Me Once,” and “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down.”

Whatever shall I do? My full name is Connie LaRene Smith Hall. No one has ever called me anything but Connie. Even with three Connie’s in my ward we all go by Connie.

The question is how can I pick a pen name? First, I will create a name that is easy to spell and remember. Then I will make sure it doesn’t have too many syllables, sounds nice, and no one has used it before. Sometimes a two-syllable first name and single-syllable last name is an effective combination. I will resist the temptation to make my name too fancy or cute.

A few months ago, the authors’ incognito group was talking about their last names. Some of the things suggested were great ideas. I will use the last name of Hall because it’s near the beginning of the alphabet. I want my book on an upper shelf, and close to books of bestselling authors such as Dean Hughes. Then his book would be between Darvell Hunt’s and mine.

Does anyone out there have a good idea? What name shall I use? I’ve had several suggestions, and the ones I like are C. S. Hall or C. LaRene Hall. Does anyone want to vote on the one I should use? I’m hoping this dilemma will be something I have to worry about soon.

1 comment:

Tristi Pinkston said...

I say go for C. LaRene Hall.

But you can't use Talullah LaTulippe -- that one's mine. :)