Should I use a pen name? Please help!

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] everyone! I’ve been trying to decide whether to write under a pen name or not. I write fantasy, science fiction, and horror (and things that meld those genres). Most of it is adult, but some of it could be considered middle grade or YA. I want to use the same name for everything I write.

[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Kranz, but I’ve never thought that Kranz quite fit the genre/tone of my work. I really want to develop a brand with my writing, and I’ve always loved the idea of reinventing yourself as an artist, so I thought using a pen name would be good. However, one of my friends thinks that it doesn’t matter that much because when someone becomes known for a certain thing, then their name becomes connected with that “brand” regardless of if its original sound (like [name_u]Neil[/name_u] Gaiman or even a company like Amazon). But of course, writers, actors ([name_m]Tom[/name_m] [name_f]Cruise[/name_f], [name_f]Viola[/name_f] [name_m]Davis[/name_m]), and musicians ([name_m]David[/name_m] [name_u]Bowie[/name_u], [name_u]Freddie[/name_u] [name_u]Mercury[/name_u]) choose catchier, more marketable names all the time.

If I were to use a pen name it would be [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Woodward (my grandmother’s maiden name).

What do you guys think? [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Kranz or [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Woodward? Which name would make you want to pick up the book? Any thoughts on pen names?

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the cover and jacket description always make me pick up the book, never the author’s name :wink:

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Personally, I find [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Kranz noticeable and catchy. [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Woodward is fine, but less memorable to me (and more difficult to say).

However, I will agree with you that “Woodward” fits the tone of your genres better.


Cool, maybe I will go with my own name then. Those were my hesitations about Woodward too…and I always thought my last name roles off the tongue nicely haha:)

I agree with @EJpuddlejumper that I don’t really look at the author’s name when choosing a book. I might glance and admire if I liked it but that wouldn’t factor in my decision at all on whether or not to read the book. I think I prefer [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Kranz because [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Woodward is a bit difficult to say.

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Hey, I’m a writer myself! I don’t usually us my pen name for my novels but I do use it for experimental short stories, poems, etc. [name_f]My[/name_f] advice would be that if you want your overall vibe that’s connected to your work to be purley related to your genres, then full steam ahead I say! Like I said before, my pen name is for less-serious work, so I made it sound snappy. Its [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] [name_f]Melinda[/name_f] BTW. Oh and also, [name_u]Rory[/name_u] Woodward?! The name gives me goosebumps! Perfect for a horror novelist. I’ll keep my eye out for your name on the top ten greatest horror authors! Keep writing the Coronavirus away!

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