My name is

Pens

Pens (Photo credit: NguyenDai)

My name is Eric Ralph (my middle initial is M.). I don’t use a pen name, even though I write religious satire that might upset some people. Why don’t I use a pen name?

  1. They are pointless. If I ever get to be well-known enough that a pen name might be useful in avoiding jerkfaces, those jerkfaces will be able to go to Wikipedia and find my real name. Like you can with Mark Twain. Or J.K. Rowling. Or Richard Bachman. You see my point.
  2. They make it harder to market. Some people know me. No one knows Gustav Sanchez-Archipelago. The advantage may be slight, but it is significant. Making new friends under a new name would be time-consuming, especially since Gustav Sanchez-Archipelago is an introverted.
  3. They take time away from the work. If I had a pen name, I’d invariably spend time explaining where I came up with it and why to people I know. Instead, I can talk about my book. Or something else.
  4. There is no fourth reason. Actually, I have a feeling there is, but I can’t think of it right now. Oh well.
  5. Bonus fifth reason: It’s OK to write in different genres without them. Some writers I know create a new name for every genre they write in. Instead, I will use the categories Amazon and others use to mark my books in their respective genres without the added marketing effort of multiple names. Roald Dahl wrote erotica and children’s stories. It worked out OK for him.
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