When today’s guest told me she was published under a myriad of pen names I asked her to write a post on the subject. As someone who was forced to use an alias – my real name is already in use by a fellow author – I was curious about her experience using pseudonyms.
I hope you enjoy her post as much as I do.
What’s In A Name? by Patricia Forsythe
Shakespeare asked that question, and my answer is, “Lots of confusion.”
When I first began my career as an author, I didn’t even think about what pen name I would use. As it turned out, the first two books I sold to a publisher were written with a partner. We were told we couldn’t have both our names on our first published book so we cast about for a pseudonym and came up with Charlotte Nichols – my co-author’s mother’s first name and my mother’s maiden name. Before you ask, if it had been the other way around, it would have been Orzola Baldwin -- unique, but not what one would picture as the name of a romance novelist.
That worked fine for two books, but then my co-author moved away and we each began writing on our own. As a solo author, I sold to Harlequin Books and when asked what name I wanted to use, I said Patricia Knoll. That was my married name, and while it would be wonderful to think that all romance authors have lifelong, loving commitments with a partner of their choice, it doesn’t always work out that way. By the time I discovered that, though, I’d published a couple of dozen books under that pen name.
After I got divorced, I decided to go back to writing under my maiden name of Forsythe. This is where the name became a problem because I didn’t legally change my name back to Forsythe. Thus began my career of publishing as Patricia Forsythe and Patti Forsythe, while already having a website and Facebook page as Patricia Knoll. I recently added Forsythe in there to help quell some of the confusion, but that turns out to be quite a mouthful with seven syllables – eight if I add my middle name, Ann.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that an author must choose a writing name carefully. It can be an emotional choice, but the name itself is one an author wants to always be associated with enjoyable books. Speaking for myself, whichever one of my pen names you look for, I hope you find a book you’ll love.
In the meantime enjoy reading Twist of Fate is a contemporary romance, part of the Book Boyfriends Café Summer Lovin' Anthology. Release day on Tuesday, May 19. Fourteen books for 0.99. What could be better?
Twist of Fate
is available as part of the
Book Boyfriends Café Summer Lovin' Anthology:
Excerpt from Twist of Fate by Patti Forsythe
“So you are here for both pleasure and business?”
At the word ‘pleasure’, Rebecca’s gaze jerked up to Aaron’s. Because she was afraid her voice would shake, she cleared her throat and said, “Yes.”
Gratefully, she saw that the form he was completing had an official letterhead at the top. No doubt, it was some kind of authorization for her to travel around the city. Even though her first instinct was to grab the paper and run from the room, she wondered if she could convince him to authorize travel further afield. It was worth a try.
“I want to see all of Côte de Diamant City. I’ve heard and read a great deal about the city’s efforts to modernize its infrastructure.”
“Wait.” He held up his hand. “It’s April. School is still in session. Shouldn’t you be teaching?”
She bit her bottom lip. “I’ve taken some time off. Personal time.”
“To study Côte de Diamant?” He lifted a skeptical eyebrow.
“That’s part of it.” She took a breath, determined to get through it. “Also, if I can, I plan to see the ruins at Wadi Akbar as well as the archaeological dig at Sik Ru.”
He glanced up sharply, his green eyes searing into her. She had to force herself not to jump in alarm. At the intensity of his expression, her heart pounded and her mouth went dry.
“Sik Ru? That isn’t wise. In fact, that could be dangerous. It is very close to the border of Isbahar, where chaos is the rule of the day.”
“I know, but that’s where I hope to find someone to help me . . . .” Too late, she bit her tongue. Dismayed, she looked at him. Color washed over her face, a sure sign to anyone who knew her that she had made a slip of the tongue. Would Aaron remember that about her? Damn this exhaustion! She couldn’t think clearly.
“Help you do what?” His green eyes were piercing.
She couldn’t come up with a convincing half-truth or even an outright lie. And she had given up lying years ago. She was going to have to tell him the truth. He was going to find out eventually.
She lifted her chin and met his eyes. “They are going to help me find my sister.”
“Your sister?” Confusion warred with suspicion in his tone.
“Yes.” Rebecca cleared her throat again.
He went very still, except for his fingers, those swift, agile fingers which continued to slide over the smooth surface of his sleek pen. He turned it from one end to the other, fingers at the tip, sliding down, turning the pen, turning it again.
Desire clawed at Rebecca’s throat even as she realized that what she had feared, what she had tried to avoid was screaming down upon her head, bringing to light that which she’d tried to keep secret.
Aaron looked up, his eyes fierce, his lips stiff. “I only knew you to have one sister. Jennifer.”
The name dropped between them like a stone hitting mud. She swallowed, nodded.
“Rebecca, you told me Jennifer was dead.”
About the Author:
Patti Forsythe grew up in a small copper mining town in Arizona where she had the opportunity to observe a great many interesting people who have since turned up in her books. She has written many romances for Harlequin books, as well as indie-published books and enjoys creating the kinds of stories she hopes people want to read. She’s the mother of four grown children who all have lives and families of their own. Patti has had a number of jobs, including being a librarian, running a care home for handicapped children, and teaching school. She retired from teaching a couple of years ago and now writes full time. Her writing career has had many fits and starts, setbacks and triumphs along the way. Nothing gives her greater pleasure than creating a compelling story with characters she loves, and which she hopes her readers will love.
Visit Patti at patriciaforsythebooks.com