Monday, February 11, 2008

Guest blogger April Robins talks about Pen Names

I came across an author on and invited her to post an article here on The Write Type. I hope you enjoy.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song

Picking a Pen Name

We had our first book started, “I’ll Tuck You in, Deer.” In fact the writing was going pretty fast. Everyone was committed and the edits were flying between me and the girls. I realized that, when I submitted the book, an Author’s name would show on the front cover. Would it be my every day, common name or something more spectacular that everyone could remember?

We decided for the safety of the children to go with pen names. After all, we are going to be famous someday. Back to reality, the last name for everyone was established. It would be Robins. My husband had named our farm Robin Falls because it has a waterfall that flows when it rains, otherwise it is bone dry. Also, we are blessed with every bird possible for this region, especially robins. So everyone decided that they wanted to be a Robins even our married daughter. I was going to be Elizabeth Rachel Robins. I asked my daughter what was her pen name. Her husband suggested that she go by his grandmother’s name Ruby. My daughter-in-law wanted to be called what her mother had started to name her, Celeste.

There I was surrounded by jewels and the heavens, and I was simply Beth. I did research and found that there was already a writer name Elizabeth Robins. So who would I be? I started thinking that my birthday was in April. I would be April. Then I went on line and picked another name from a listing of baby names. I found Rachelle which is often shortened to Rachel. So I was April Rachelle Robins.

Then my husband started to fill in writing for our daughter who was now the mother of a newborn. He decided to be F. Jay Robins. I asked him what the F stood for, and he told me he was going to keep everyone guessing. Initially we were going to be “Three Robins and a Jay Bird”, so that is where he got the Jay.

Everyone is happy with their alias. There are always pros and cons to every writing decision. My grandson asked me the other day why I used a pen name. He said no one knows that his grandma writes children’s books since Robins is not his last name. How sweet that he wanted to brag about his grandma.

Think about it, what would your pen name be?

April Robins, guest blogger

1 comment:

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author said...

Thank you, April, for your interesting post.

I actually have 2 pen names--one female and one male. LOL

I won't tell you what they are, but I will tell you that my male pen name has written mainly non-fiction articles that have been published online. :)

My female pseudonym is a nice "flowery" name, perfectly suited for steamy romance novels. I have written one; it's not published...yet. ;)

I have also played around with the idea of writing horror under the pen name of Stephanie King! Who knows?

But for now, I am quite happy to be Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author.