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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    387

    Red face Writer Berry looking for a pen name

    Hi there, berries -

    I've posted this in the Writing section but got no responses, so I thought I'd move this here. You've all been so helpful in the past, so I thought I'd enlist your help in this unique request. I'm a budding author, and I love to write, and my goal is to one day write a book that wins some sort of honor or medal. However, I hate my name. My parents decided to be "progressive," so I have a hyphenated last name, which is entirely cumbersome. It's mostly unpronounceable, and it starts with Sh.

    My first name is Bailey, which is okay, but I want it to be clear that I'm a girl. And my middle name is Suzanna, if anyone cares. I've been using Bailey Suze as my whole name for a while now, and while I like it, I think I want something a bit more exotic as my pen name.

    My genre is young-adult-fiction, but not like Suzanne Collins. More like John Green. (HUGE John Green fan right here. Anyone?) I want something clearly feminine, and something you'll remember. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people add a lot of gratuitous ys to their names, so you get pen names like my friend's, Onyx Safyre, which is fine, but for whatever reason that just really bothers me.

    Right now I'm really liking the idea of an A name, so:
    Anna
    Aria
    Avalon
    Antoinette (I keep coming back to Antoinette. Do you guys like it?)
    Aliza (it's a family name)

    Some other things that inspire my writing are music and colors, so maybe some sort of something based on that?

    As for a last name, I've been using Fabian as a placeholder, but I'm very much open to suggestions. Something that sounds like a name, but doesn't have to be too common. I've also been considering Sparrow, Day, and Marks, which is a family name.

    Thanks!

    b-a-i-l-e-y

    teenberry, writer, feminist, geek.

    amelia hazel, charlotte elaine, tierney ray, cadence hermione, genevieve linden.
    hugo nathaniel, kieran benedict, larkin willoughby, gabriel frost, henry bonaventure.


  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    A Town Called Alice
    Posts
    1,479
    Which music, colors etc inspire you with your writing? It might be best to start there...For example you might like Mozart, so perhaps choose names that reflect that (classical: Lydia or maybe his Austrian heritage: Ada). Or is there a particular meaning you like that reflects your writing, or the themes you want to write about? For e.g hope-Asha.

    Anyhoo here is some suggestions:

    First Names:

    Starting with A-

    Aveline
    Agatha
    Andrea
    Annora
    Audrey

    (I like all the 'A' names you have pondered so far. If you keep on coming back to Antoinette. it might be the one?)

    John Green esque (inspired by his character's names)-

    Albany
    Katherine
    Margot
    Fleur
    Charlotte
    Iris
    Evelyn

    Last Names-

    Adair (maybe some alliteration, it could make your pen name more recognizable?)
    Beattie
    Beck
    Devereux
    Caulfield


    Hope that helped!
    Ingrid | Kit | Susanna | Alistair

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4,083
    I think you are making a good point about not wanting a pen name with lost of gratuitous y's in it. Especially if you want to be a professional writer and hope to start a career under that name. I would probably look for a name that is memorable but yet popular name.

    I'd take into consideration the type of fiction you want to write. Think about the names of people who are already successful in that business and use them as a guidepost. Since you really love John Green maybe choose a last-name that is close in the alphabet. Something that should you get published will put your books close to his in a bookstore -> I don't know about others but I tend to find my favorite authors in the bookstore and peruse the books around them when i'm too early for an appointment.

    I really like Anna Fabian or Aria Marks from your list.

    FN:
    Aurora, Aurelia, Alexandra, Alexa, Anedra, Amanda, Amelie, Adelaide, Addison, ect.

    LN:
    Thatcher, Anderson, Hollis, Errol, Earhart (just don't pair this with an A name), Havelock, Webster, Addison
    MAJOR CONSTRUCTION ZONE
    newlywed!!! (not trying...yet)

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    483
    The first thing that came to mind for me was a name reversal to Suzanna Bailey. Very classy, and I guess I realized through reading your post that I like for a pen name to have some traces of the original name...

    I like Anna Bailey too as it is very similar. I also like the idea of Zanne. Zanne Bailey or Zanne Marks or Zanne Sparrow. Sparrow got my eye...I agree with you that there is something about Antoinette in general and specifically it gives off an established vibe if you will, as if you have already won medals I would thinking about Antoinette Marks OR Antoinette Bay instead of Day, bc it is a nod to Bailey.
    This also leads me to two more that ring out for me Aliza Marks (two family names although your fn would not ever be spelled right)...and then for the genre you're in, I think Suzy Sparrow has a fun, true zing. Good luck!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    959
    I like Antoinette and think you should use it. I love kids' books and have written some myself, and this seems to me to work for that world. It is memorable, imaginative, and evocative -- all good qualities in a children's writer. I like Antoinette Bay a great deal. I love Bay as a middle or last name, and here it suggests a place (as would Forest, River, Mount, Mer, or Lake) we would like to locate on the map of our imaginations. It is sunset on Antoinette Bay, and some lights are flitting on the bank. Is that a castle -- or a ruin -- I spot through the darkening trees? What will happen on Antoinette Bay?

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