Pen Names II — The Retraction

Glenna Once upon a time, I wrote a post about the “powers-that-be” and the wisdom of ignoring them about half the time. I should’ve taken my own advice.

Rules change, and what’s the “right thing to do” today won’t be right tomorrow. And the entire idea of needing a pseudonym to shift genres is yesterday’s “right thing.”

After agent Dave Fessenden called into question my decision to write The Simulacrum under the name of “Glenna Galloway” (in the comments on Monday’s post), I asked the ones-in-the-know in the various loops I belong to. A variety of pubbed authors gave me a variety of answers, most of which were, “Don’t use a pseudonym.” A couple even suggested I not publish an action/adventure/mystery until I was more established in my usual romance/women’s fiction genres. Stick to what my readers expect of me. In other words, be genre-locked.

Others said to brand myself instead of my works. Just earn the reputation that if I wrote it–whatever genre it is–it’s gotta be good. I can do that.

Still others said that using a pen name is a good idea, as long as I make sure all my websites are connected, which I’d planned to do anyway.

After a long cyber-discussion on four threads and Monday’s comment section, I came away with one enduring fact: Conventional wisdom in this business changes faster than shoe fashion.

So, as much as I like the name “Glenna Galloway,” I’ll be using my legal name on all my books. Glenna will have to wait until I find a good novel for her to be a character in.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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14 Responses to Pen Names II — The Retraction

  1. Jess says:

    I love how you roll with the punches! and the changes. 🙂


  2. I agree, Linda. Fans ferreted out Stephen King’s pseudonym, and unlike what his publishers predicted, his fans loved the fact he was so prolific. He has written stories not in the horror genre, and the fans still flocked. Because of his gift of storytelling. It will be the same for you, Linda. Fans will recognize your gift, and flock wherever you go. And, you will pick up new fans with the different genres. Many will cross over from one to the other just because you wrote it.

    I do love the name Glenna Galloway. She’ll be a great character. 🙂


  3. Lisa Grace says:

    You’re a wonderful writer. Make it easy for your fans to find your work. I write YA, history mystery, and sci-fi flash fiction all under the same pen name. The covers set the genres apart. I let the readers decide which books they want to read. With social media, branding under one name is crucial. One “go to” page is essential. Samantha Fury and I started Indie Author Chat to showcase 15 minute video tuturials for authors on Youtube. One of them is on branding.


  4. Interesting. Guess I’m glad all the way around that stuck to just one pen name!


  5. I think it’s a good idea. When I like an author, I will pick up and read EVERYTHING she/he writes. I like the author of Give the Lady a Ride. I will now read EVERYTHING she writes. Haha! 😉


  6. Danie Marie says:

    For me, I’m sticking with my pen name. Danie Marie is what I use for all my writing and for speaking engagements. It’s what I use on my blog and website, so people will become familiar with that name. 🙂 I guess that’s called branding… at least least it doesn’t hurt!

    Blessings Linda, and thanks for clearing that up for us.


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