Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Je m'appelle . . . Let me get back to you on that!

Interesting post on pen names:

I started writing under a pen name, mostly because I had heard rumors that it was difficult to get published in horror if you were a "girl." So just to be on the safe side, I picked a male pen name: Douglas Graves.

Editor feedback on it was mixed. Some thought it was great, some thought it was cheesy (Doug "Dug" Graves). So I dropped it. Reluctantly. VERY reluctantly.

Next, I decided to try a gender-neutral version of my own name through initials. "B. Kezar" just didn't have a ring to it ("Say. Could you direct me to the latest book by B. Kezar?" Nope. Doesn't sound right).

Since most writers who use initials use at least two, I started using both my initials: B.M. Kezar. But people close to me complained that it sounded like I was "Bowel Movement" Kezar. Well, I said, that works for a horror writer, right? Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

So now I'm writing under my own name. Is there a gender bias in spec fiction? Who knows. I don't think so, but I guess I'll find out.

But the pen name issue still isn't over for me. I write in several genres, and it's often recommended that writers use different pen names for different genres so as not to confuse their fans. I wouldn't want my horror fans picking up my latest pet-related non-fiction and being disappointed. But I guess I'll worry about that when I get fans, lol. For now, I'm just writing as me. In the future, you might see me as "Dru Blood" or "Rusty Blades." Okay. Maybe not.

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