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Guest post: What’s in a Name? by Una Tiers

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of pen names is brought to you by debut mystery novelist Una Tiers.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?  Plenty! Pen names (nom de plume) have been used for centuries. Some create distinct identities to avoid confusion when an author writes both fiction and non-fiction or if an author writes in more than one genre.  They can separate two parts of a career such as writing and editing, or fiction writing and law.   One of the allures about a pen name is that it may keep people guessing about your identity and generate a little internet buzz.

Some authors write under a pseudonym for anonymity, to stand out with an unusual name or to avoid confusion with other authors who have similar names.  Others write under a pen name to avoid repercussions much like the witness protection program.  In the past, female authors wrote under gender neutral or male names for the sake of acceptability.

At least one author has used two or more pen names to have multiple articles published in the same magazine issue.  Another author writes under different names since he finishes more than one novel a year and thinks people will not buy two books from the same author in one year.

Do you write smoldering erotica with heaving bosoms?  Want the neighbors to know?  Many writers use their legal name along with their pen name to maintain their followers and to bring in new ones with a name that is sculptured for fiction writing.

Pointers on selecting a pen name include using the early letters of the alphabet to and getting close in spelling to a famous author.  Names that fit a genre are another point of pen names:  Lana Loving, Amber Asp, Derk Alleys or Sky Cubes.   Names at the start of the alphabet and those with one or two syllables seem to be preferred.  Try the names out in the beta stage to see how they sound to friends and your writing group.  Check existing website availability.

Places to find ideas for pen names include my favorite: obituaries and of course the internet.  Once you have your pen name, start branding and use it in your website, social networking and book sites.  You are working on a clean slate.

Famous writers with pen names include Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain); Jean Baptiste Poquelin (Moliere); Emily Bronte (Ellis Bell) and Esther Friedman (Ann Landers).

Discussion:  If you are choosing a pen name, please tell us the two main reasons you did.  Thank you.

A special thank you to Morgen for inviting me to post.

You’re so welcome, thank you Una! Derk Alleys, I love that. 🙂 And yes, please do tell.

Una Tiers is the pen name for an attorney in Chicago who writes about corruption in the courts.  Her debut mystery, Judge vs Nuts has a female sleuth, Fiona Gavelle, and has been described as a humorcide, a traditional mystery, a cozy and a legal mystery.

I then invited Una to provide an extract of her writing and this is taken from ‘Judge vs Nuts’:

I don’t like funeral processions because they are inherently dangerous, even though driving through red lights is fun. The custom is also barbaric if you think about it just a little. Participants risk getting cut off from the herd or getting hit by some driver who isn’t paying attention to the divergence of the regular traffic pattern. This ironically could generate more business for the very people who advocate funeral processions, the undertakers. Now and then I worry my evil nature will cause me to turn into a drive through car wash or hamburger place just to see who follows. For this reason, when I am unsupervised, I usually make sure I’m the last car in the procession.

After the forty-five minute drive, with no near death experiences and no comic interludes we arrived at All the Holy Saints cemetery at the city’s west border. Judge Curie was quiet during the drive allowing me to concentrate on driving. A few times he reached up for the

overhead grip and acted as if a train was heading straight for my car. He didn’t seem to like my driving.

At the cemetery, the funeral guy directed the cars to park two across on the narrow (but plowed) roads. We waited while the pallbearers struggled to maintain their footing, slipping and sliding a little while they carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave.

“What would happen if they dropped him?” I whispered.

You can email Una at Una@unatiers.com or unatiers@aol.com and her website is http://Unatiers.com.

‘Judge vs Nuts’ is available via Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in ebooks, novels, writing

 

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Guest blog topics

I’ve been fortunate enough to have more than 300 guest blog posts written for me, and when I’m contacted by authors wishing to write posts, they’re a little overawed by the topics covered so I thought I’d make it clearer.

Below are the topics covered to-date, and those yet to be discussed (not a lot!). If you would like to write about any topics not covered (or for that matter, ones that have already been covered), just let me know.

I post these (or other writing-related content) weekday mornings (UK time), and am looking for:

  • 500-1,000 words on a first-person informative writing-related topic (if you’re stuck for ideas look at the list of posted items and / or see below for topics already covered) ending with a question(s) to encourage the reader to comment.*
  • third-person biography*
  • optional
  • full website links (no tinyurl.com etc) to where we can find you and your writing*
  • *please send all text together in one document attachment, not pasted into an email
  • low-resolution .jpg photos of yourself and / or one or two covers (as separate files within the same email)… then when everything’s ready, email to me at morgen@morgenbailey.com.
  • I like to mix the topics so please be aware that you may not necessarily get the next available slot.
  • Please note: Due to previous Google compliance issues, I am not longer accepting submissions from online bloggers with non-writing-related site links, and in all cases, submission does not guarantee acceptance.
  • Because of the high volume of enquiries, I don’t schedule in advance but when I receive the content.
  • Please allow a minimum of two weeks for a reply before chasing me. Thank you.

Do you have a blog / website and would like me to guest blog on yours? Take a look here.

There are also opportunities for author spotlightsblog interviews (although the interviews now carry a £20 / $30 fee) and flash fiction (6 words and Flash Fiction Fridays (which are later podcasted) or weekly Post-weekend Poetry. Take a look at the relevant pages for their lead times. I also have five Online Writing Groups, four of which run weekday writing exercises.

Click here for a chronological list of guest blogs posted and scheduled. If you hover over the authors’ names you’ll see, within the post’s full link, the exact topic they’ve talked about.

Topics covered to-date:

NB. Just because a topic’s been covered it doesn’t mean to say that you can’t write something new about that topic – we all think and work differently. 🙂

So, if there’s anything above that grabs you, feel free to email me at morgen@morgenbailey.com.

I post these every Tuesday and Thursday evenings (UK time), and am looking for writing-related topics up to c. 1000 words with a

There are also opportunities for author spotlightsblog interviews (although the interviews now carry a fee) and flash fiction for the weekly Flash Fiction Fridays (which are then podcasted) or weekly Post-weekend Poetry. Take a look at the relevant pages for their lead times. I also now have five Online Writing Groups.

 

Contributors

Below is a list of all the authors, editors, illustrators, and agents who have appeared on my blog since March 2011. The green links indicate the relevant posts and their blue-linked names will take you to their websites. If you’d like to take part, do take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

Y

Z

That’s the list so far and I’ll be adding new links as new posts go up. If you’d like to take part in this blog, do take a look at Opportunities on this blog or email me.

Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2

You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything.

You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping Listvarious short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.

For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.

If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.

 

Guest blogs

Welcome to my guest blog posts summary page. In August 2011, I started inviting fellow authors to write guest blog posts for me, and the 300+ posted to-date are listed below, followed by those scheduled for publication. Guidelines below if you’d like to take part (there are other options on Opportunities on this blog)…

As of August 2015, I no longer take submissions from online education-related bloggers just looking to get links. I did in the past but too many disappeared once the post was up, i.e. neglected to reply to any correspondence from me (e.g. forwarding on of feedback) but more importantly to my readers. Submissions therefore from genuine writers only, i.e. with their own writing / books they wish to promote as part of the process.

Guidelines:
  • 500-1,000 words first-person informative writing-related topics (if you’re stuck for ideas look at the list of posted items and / or see topics already covered) ending with a question(s), or equivalent statement, to encourage the reader to comment. Indies Unlimited website has a great article on writing guest blog posts.
  • It doesn’t have to be exclusive, i.e. you can use it again elsewhere and it can have been posted elsewhere (now or previously – providing you have permission from the other publisher. Please don’t waste my time offering me content I can’t use or worse, content I post then have to remove). The item can be about fiction or non-fiction but it has to be creative writing-related, i.e. no items on academia, beauty, cars, finance, etc.
  • obligatory third-person biography up to 500 words – most readers will want to know who’s written the great piece they’ve just read*
  • optional 250-500 words synopsis of one of your books*
  • full website links (no tinyurl.com etc) to where we can find you and your writing*
  • low-resolution .jpg photos of yourself and / or one or two covers (as separate files within the same email please, not embedded into the attached document text)… then when everything’s ready, email to me at morgen@morgenbailey.com.
  • **** If you do embed a picture into the text PLEASE ensure you also attach it as a file. *****
  • *Please send all text together in one document attachment, not pasted into an email.
  • I like to mix the topics so please be aware that you may not necessarily get the next available slot.
  • Please note: Due to previous Google compliance issues, I am not longer accepting submissions from online bloggers with non-writing-related site links, and in all cases, submission does not guarantee acceptance.
  • Once your item is posted, I will forward to you all feedback (‘like’s, comments, retweets etc). If visitors take the time to leave a comment, please do them the courtesy of replying, and to me when I forward the feedback (many people don’t!). Thank you.
  • Because of the high volume of enquiries, I don’t schedule in advance but when I receive the content.
  • Please allow a minimum of two weeks for a reply before chasing me. Thank you.

Do you have a blog / website and would like me to guest blog on yours? Take a look here.

POSTED (take a look at ‘Other stuff‘ for posts I’ve written before these) or click here for topics covered.