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Should new authors ever use an alias?
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:21 PM
Joined: 11/29/2012
Posts: 11

I googled my name and all of the results were about a different person with the same name. That in and of itself is not the problem.  The problem is he is hated by at least half the country!  
His name is David N. Bossie and he is a disgraced former congressional staffer who writes these hateful, conservative newsletters. 
He used to live in a small town not far from my home in Colorado and I used to get calls from Democrats that would want to pick an argument with me.  Or I would get calls from Republicans who wanted to know where their newsletter was.
I never thought I would have to worry about my name.  It's not like I'm named John Smith.  Also, what did I care if someone googled me and got this other idiot.
But now that I'm entertaining thoughts of one day querying an agent, I would hate to be seen as someone or something that I am not.
If you have advice, I'd love to hear it.  If you have ever used an alias, why?  And are glad you did?
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:26 AM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272

I'll be honest and say I've never really gotten author pseudonyms, but it your case, it makes sense. Separating your identity from someone sharing your name is going to be difficult so starting with an alternate name might work.
One thing you might want to consider is pulling a Romney and going by your middle name. D. A(dam?) Rossi could work.
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:44 PM
Joined: 11/29/2012
Posts: 11

Hi Tim,
I thought of that last night and I agree with going with my middle name (Alan) in the future.

Jay Greenstein
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 11:33 PM
• I would hate to be seen as someone or something that I am not.

The author's name on the cover is just that, a name. And no matter the one you use, when you see it on the cover you'll feel pride because you know it's you.

As for your situation you can look at in it two ways. If people know and like that person they'll be curious to see what he wrote. If they hate him they're going to wonder what that bastard said. win/win. And it's probably better than seeing your name on the cover and saying, "Who?"

But that aside, if to pleases you to write under the name Skid Chains, or something else, do it.

Worry about learning enough about the craft and knowing the tricks needed to write on a pro level. That matters, because you're competing with the pros for that pocket in the bookstore, and all of you are trying to convince a publisher to invest in you. That's the important part—the hard part. Names are easy.

Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2012 10:59 AM
Joined: 11/29/2012
Posts: 11

Thanks, Jay.  Great advice.