I won’t pretend to know what every writer thinks, but there are a fair few of us that have thought about using a pen name for our writing. If it wasn’t already obvious, Lalia LaRose is a pen name I created for my writing. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.
I chose to use a pen name for a few reasons:
- My name is boring.
- I want to put boundaries in my professionalism. I work with children in an educational setting. I don’t want my job or professional life to mix with my writing. Due to some more mature content in my writing I don’t want my employers, students, or the parents of my students passing judgement on me or my professionalism based on my books.
- I fell in love with the pen name Lalia LaRose, especially since it holds meaning to me.
Authors choose to use pen names for many different reasons and it’s not up to us to say if those reasons are valid or not. In the end it really doesn’t matter why anyone used a pen name anyway. If you are going to use a pen name you’ll need to focus on what it’s going to be.
Note: I am going to use my pen name as an example.
When coming up with a pen name there are a list things you want to keep in mind:
- How does it sound and look?
- Does is fit with your writing?
- Is it the same or similar to the name of someone famous?
- Do YOU like it? Does it have meaning to you?
- Would you feel comfortable signing the pen name on documents or on your book?
- Would you like being called this name on a regular basis?
There is a lot to think about when it comes to creating your pen name. When it came to creating my pen name it wasn’t something I spent days developing. I knew I wanted to use a pen name and I came up with a few ideas, but never delved on it too much. Every once in a while I would brainstorm some more names, but none stood out or seemed to fit with my writing. So I continued writing and occasionally write down some more ideas.
The one thing that all my ideas had in common was the name of my great great Grandmother, Eulalie Durand. I’ve use the first and last name of my relative many different ways and combined it with aspects of my name or of family names that I liked. Eulalie Dawn was my favourite for some time, but it was missing something so I never committed.
When I was researching pseudonyms of famous authors I noticed that it was not uncommon for the authors to use alliteration in their pen names. Example: Cassandra Clare. So I started fiddling around with sound. On my grandma’s side came the surname of LaRose, which I loved. Eulalie LaRose was an option, but seem too much. So I went online to find shorter variants of Eulalie. Eulalie became Eulalia, which was then shortened to Lalia. Lalia LaRose just sounded good to me and personified my writing.
What I’m trying to say here is take your time. It might take a long time for you to find the pen name that fits for you. Don’t rush and don’t settle for anything that isn’t quite right. Be picky, ask friends for their thoughts. You have to love it enough to attach it to your writing. It should be who you are and what you want to represent.
There is one question you need to keep asking yourself throughout this process: Do I really need or want to use a pen name? It’s your decision whether you want to use your real name or a fake name for your writing, but you need to make that decision. For some people it’s an easy decision, for others it’s not. There are authors who use pen name for certain books/genres and their real name for other books/genres. It’s all personal preference.
Final Important Note: You’re NOT a fake or hiding if you use a pen name.
Thank you for reading,