Noms de Plume, what’s in a name.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

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Did you write under a pseudonym? Why?

Yes, I do. Even though my real name isn’t a secret. Richard is genuine, Dee is just a way of expressing the first letter of my actual surname.

When I started out on my writing journey, I was still employed. I became Richard Dee because I didn’t want my boss or people where I worked to know what I was doing. That was partly because I was afraid of their reaction if what I was producing turned out to be rubbish. On a more serious level, there was a clause in my contract that forbade me from earning money in any other sort of employment while I was working for them. Back then, I still held hopes of a traditional publishing deal, which could have been problematic if they had found out what I was doing.

I called myself Richard Dee for the purpose of submissions, if I had gained a big deal, I would have resigned and revealed all.

Obviously, I didn’t achieve overnight success. It all became academic when fate took a hand, or more accurately a shoulder. I retired and the problem vanished. By then I had one completed novel and had half-written a second. I couldn’t be bothered to change my name again, so I stayed as Richard Dee.

I also managed to acquire the domain, making it even less likely that I would ever go back to being who I was.

To be honest, now that I’ve published a few titles, I think Richard Dee looks much better on a book cover than my real name. It’s shorter, which means it takes up less space and (dare I say it) sounds more authorly.

I was tempted to use separate pen names for each genre that I write, which would have given me three more names to make up. With plays on my real name, I could have been Ricardo Duque or Rikki Docker. Or even John Richardson.

However, being inherently lazy, I decided to publish them all as Richard Dee and let the audience work it out.

Who knows, there might even be some crossover purchasing.

Until next week.

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10 Responses

  1. Chris L Adams

    I was aware you used a nom de plume, but never knew the back story. I’ve thought of creating one myself to go in completely different directions, but it’s only ever arisen as a vague thought to do so. If I actually wrote some material that was acutely divergent from my pulp-style tales, I may consider it. Good backstory, Richard!

    • Richard Dee

      I know several authors who use multiple names, depending on Genre. It always seems like a lot of extra work maintaining each one. That all reduces the time available for writing.

  2. Darlene Foster

    I think Richard Dee is a great author name. I thought about using a a noms-de-plume but then thought how would people find me. It took me a few tries to get a surname that was easy to spell, say and recognize so I am happy to use it.

    • Richard Dee

      I feel for people saddled with unfortunate names, they get the stick for things they had no control over. I worked with a guy called Kenneth Tuckey, his anguish was real.

  3. Daryl Devore

    The Daryl part of my name is real. The Devore part is made up.
    Love your – However, being inherently lazy, I decided to publish them all as Richard Dee and let the audience work it out.
    Kinda why I am narrowing it down to 1 name.

    • Richard Dee

      I’m happy to be associated with it all, because I’m responsible for it all. Keep it simple is my motto.

  4. P.J. MacLayne

    There is a lot advice out there about having a different name for each genre you write, but I don’t have the time or inclination to keep track of that mess!

    • Richard Dee

      I Know an author who juggles FOUR personae. I cannot be bothered, life is too short for that.

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