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Where do you get your pen names?

richardshagrin

Last time I asked where character names come from, to a very illuminating set of replies. So, if you use one or more aliases to get credit for your stories, how did you decide on the one(s) you use?

I will start, I am not really an author but I write reviews as Barron of Ideas. I first used that name when I made posts on the Civilization game site. There were dukes and earls and lords and all kind of nobility so as I wanted to be modest I chose Baron, and of course misspelled it with an extra r. The Ideas came from thinking about what could I be ruler of? I was always suggesting ideas so it seemed right to me. Also, Barren of Ideas as an alternate seemed right when I couldn't think of anything to say.

Browsing through authors I saw a name I can't recall exactly, something like L Sprague Campbell, Jr. which combines two noted Science Fiction authors/editors, (L. Sprague) de Camp and John W. (Campbell, Jr. of Astounding, later Analog). It was not a big surprise to find the author with that name wrote Science Fiction. I suppose that leaves Robert Anson Asimov or Isaac Heinlein available for the next not terribly modest SF writer.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@richardshagrin

I wanted to name my son Blayde and call him Switch as a nickname. As usual, I was overruled by my wife. So I used Switch Blayde as my pen name. For my novel, I chose S.W. Blayde (the SW came from Switch).

By the way, when I told my son about my pen name he cracked up.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

There is a Tom Swifty like that. Switch Blayde, he said cuttingly.

The Tom Swift novels for children seldom used "he said". Instead comments were made coldly, heatedly, hastily, (pick an adverb) but not to my knowledge hornily. Books for kids in those days were exceptionally suited for Fine Stories. Maybe they could use hornily for a talking animal with antlers.

Ernest Bywater

I first published on-line through an Irish e-publisher and my second set of stories with them were very different to the first, so they wanted me to use a pen name. What I did was drop my family name and add an s to my middle name to create Ernest Edwards. I've never tried to separate the two anywhere except at that one site. By now all know both are me.

Dominion's Son

@richardshagrin

The first story I started writing was the Dominion Chronicle. When I finally decided to try posting it, I decided I didn't want to post under my real name.

I chose Dominion's Son because my main character is a son of one of the founding families of the colony world Dominion where the story takes place.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominion's Son

My pseudonym was actually very carefully thought out. Aside from the obvious pun, it was meant to accent my writing story, where the story runs in multiple directions. Readers are left, with random ideas which fall into their laps like muffin crumbs, so they can examine each one, tasting different aspects of the tale.

It's a bit overwrought, but that was what I was aiming for. I wanted something self-depreciating, in case I turned out to be a terrible writer, but I wanted to do it with humor.

Lostlady

@richardshagrin

My choice was simple. When I tried to pick a name on the first site I registered with everything I picked came up as already in use. After the fourth try, I was out of ideas, I was at a loss, ergo... I've kept it to avoid confusion. There's no significance to it beyond that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lostlady

My choice was simple. When I tried to pick a name on the first site I registered with everything I picked came up as already in use. After the fourth try, I was out of ideas.

I do that every time another site requires me to change my password. That's usually the point I start entering curse words, and then when one sticks, I'm stuck with it.

P.S. Another use of a pseudonym, it helps prevent Google searches for my books from turning up the free stories here. It's not foolproof, but it separates my free posts from my book purchases.

sejintenej

My current nom de plume (see above) has already been explained in these tomes.
My previous one was also tied to an event in my life - my employer! The company's (foreign) name is an adjective in English and I used it as a descriptor. It was a bit like an employee of "The White Company" - a genuine UK company I did NOT work for - using "Not White but Pink". (In working that out I had a dozen ideas of which half were definitely racist and some others would have raised hackles but the concept may help those looking for ideas) Google has extinguished my previous name - I think!

El_Sol

In the army, we played D&D and a friend used the name LaLuz which means 'the light' in Spanish.

I liked it a lot and when it came time to get a pseudonym, I went with it but changed it to the 'The Sun' instead.

Shinerdrinker
Updated:

In college, I discovered beer. (Yes, college. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!)

That was then and still is my beer of choice. But now they have all those fancy flavors and different times of the year brings out said flavors. I will always stay with the original.

I also use that name throughout the internet since when I originally picked it, Yahoo had just started this thing of giving everyone free email addresses and so I used it there successfully.

I also happen to think it is a pretty damn cool name!

Ernest Bywater

@Shinerdrinker

I also happen to think it is a pretty damn cool name!


but not as cool as Chilly Winds is.

Crumbly Writer

@Shinerdrinker

That was then and still is my beer of choice.

Wait, "beer" is your "beer of choice"?

I suspect you meant that "Shiner" (I'm unfamiliar with it , wasn't that from the midwest?) is your beer of choice, and the source of your pen name.

I myself, love the craft beer movement, as it parallels the 'fancy coffee' movement the country went through 20 - 30 years ago. I have had a Blue Ribbon or a Bud since I was in college, and I despised it then.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Wait, "beer" is your "beer of choice"?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoetzl_Brewery

Spoetzl Brewery is a brewery located in Shiner, Texas, USA. The brewery produces a diverse line of Shiner Beers, including their flagship Shiner Bock, a dark lager that is now distributed in 49 states.

In Queensland, Australia the favourite beer is the brand XXXX commonly called Fourex - this is a major brewery. The NSW / Vic tradition is that XXXX is the way those backwards Queenslanders spelled beer - however it really is a throwback to the old way of measuring alcoholic potency.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlemaine_XXXX

El_Sol

Beer of choice is Xingu... which would also make a good pseudonym.

It is like a Mexican beer and a Japanese beer had a baby.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@El_Sol

It is like a Mexican beer and a Japanese beer had a baby.

Or an even better character name.

"This is my new friend, Xingu. Her father is Mexican, her mother Japanese, and she was conceived after they both got stinking drunk on the local beer in Cancun!"

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