Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome to Mara Writes!

Welcome to my author blog! I'm glad you've joined me here!

I'm still building this blog, so bear with me as I add new features and the blog evolves.

Maybe I should start off telling you a little about myself? I'm a writer, and my current projects include a paranormal romance trilogy and a sci-fi/chick lit novel. I'm also working on a screenplay and I have a couple of short stage plays in the works.

I'd like to talk to you a little bit about pseudonyms. Mara Nash is my pseudonym. I decided I needed a pen name for several reasons: I want to keep my writing life separate from my family, and to avoid any issues with my job. Of course every writer hopes that at some point they'll make a living from writing - and I'm no different - but until then I still need a day job, and I don't want to mix the two. Also, my "real" name just isn't very writerly. It doesn't have any "wow" factor.

The subject of pen names has been explored brilliantly and in depth at various writer's blogs around the blogosphere. In fact, Rachelle Gardner has also discussed it today on her blog, so please visit her there for some great advice.

As a writer, there are several reasons you may want to use a pseudonym. Like me, you may have a job or be looking for a job and want to keep your writing and working lives separate. Imagine you work as an elementary teacher by day and write erotica or romance by night. It could be inconvenient to have your employer....or family....google you and find out about your other life. A pen name might be in order if you just don't like your name (again, like me), or it's very common and you share it with a lot of other people, or it's the same or similar to a celebrity or another author. If you're planning on writing in several genres, it may be prudent to have a pen name to keep your writing life neatly organized.

We've been discussing the issue of pen names over at Critique This WIP and for various reasons we all decided we needed one. The fun came for all of us in selecting pseudonyms we could feel comfortable with. Tessa was already using a pen name, so the issue was a moot point for her, but the rest of us struggled to find names that "felt" right, that we could comfortably assume and not feel like we were playing at pretend.

I'm nearly finished with revisions of the first novel in my paranormal romance trilogy and will be sending it out to betas soon, then beginning the querying process, so I felt it was prudent to begin the process of assuming my pseudonym.

An interesting point Rachelle made in her blog post on pen names is that writers should start the query process from the beginning using their pseudonym. Do all of your correspondence using your pen name, and identify yourself in that way. You don't need to tell the agent it's not your real name until they offer you representation. This is good information to know, and something I had no idea about before I read her blog post. So, thanks Rachelle!

I'd be interested to know your feelings about pseudonyms. Do you use one? Why or why not?

11 comments:

gabi said...

Hi Mara,

Welcome to the blogsphere!

Re: pen names, I've been pondering that one myself for quite some time. The trouble is, I have WAY too many names. My real name is way too long. My nickname is often mispronounced. And that's before we even consider my married name as well. For now, at least on the web, I'm using my nickname. :)

Candyland said...

Hey there~I don't technically have one since it's basically my name:) Good luck on your journey! I'm here if you need me!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Any attention my novels would get me at work would be all right. Even negative. I mean bad breath is better than no breath at all. And I'm fairly invisible where I work.

I think pen names are useful if you write a good many books in a great many genres. Most editors tend to pigeon-hole their authors = so pen names are your means of escaping being typecasted.

I wish you luck in yourn new blog. Thanks for visiting and following mine, Roland

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Hi Mara- I used to have a pen name, when I was writing YA and MG, but now I'm writing a memoir. And well a pen name wouldn't make sense. And I love my new name. I also read Rachelle's article!

Amanda Sablan said...

I don't use a pseudonym simply because I don't care, but I really like yours! It has a nice ring to it. ;]

Anyway, welcome to the blogosphere! I'm sure you'll carve yourself a neat little niche in no time.

Angie Ledbetter said...

No, don't use one. I'm too old and crazy, would probably botch things up anyway. :) But if I did, I might just choose Aaron as my last name so I'd be first on the bookstore shelves.

Donna Hole said...

I live out loud; I'd just expose myself. Besides, I want everyone to associate my real name with the author who writes "those blockbuster novels EVERYONE is talking about."

(LOL)

And if that never happens, well, I'm famous in my own mind at least :)

But I understand the draw to a pen name. Mine would be Dana Hale - close enough I won't get too confused, and I've had people call me that several times. Must be kismet, a former life thing, whatever.

For now, I don't write anything that I couldn't publish on the intranet newsletter at my day job. Or that I'd be embarrassed about if my kids' friends picked up to read. I'll save that stuff for when I sell enough to quit my job and can be considered an essentric artist.

But I tell ya - I don't embarrass easily, and my opinions are my own, stubborn as they may be.

Enough soapbox :)

Lovely place you're building here. And the psuedonym is very catchy.

......dhole

Jen said...

Hi Mara!!! I'm more of a free spirit take a chance sort of gal. I do not use a pen name, that isn't to say that later in life if I was asked to and it would be best that I wouldn't jump on the chance!

If I'm going to jump from genre to genre then I would for sure use a different pen name. I would love to use my real name for my Young Adult novels, I believe it's more relateable, however for a horror novel I wouldn't mind using a different name as to avoid stalkers... just sayin!

Great to meet you! You're follow button isn't accessible so I'll be back, but just know I'm stalking close by!

Jen said...

Oh and I must say that for your very first post you've gotten a ton of comments! I remember mine was lonely!!!

Elana Johnson said...

I use my real name, but that's just because I don't want to keep track of my "fake" one. And I'm selfish and wanted everyone to know, that yes! I wrote that book.

But I get why someone would use a pen name.

Tabitha Bird said...

I have considered a pen name. So far I think I will use my own name. Just cause I want to see it on a book really :)