Pen Names – Yay or Nay?

Last November I participated in the NaNoWriMo contest (And won!!! Yay me!). As part of the contest I won 2 free copies of my book from

I had a look at the site and I’d  love to do that. Even if I don’t end up self-publishing.  I am just so ready to hold a book I wrote in my hands! Just to have that feeling, to know what it will be like when the dream is realized. So, I started setting up the site, uploaded the book, and even played around with the cover creator a bit.

Then I came across a problem. The author name. I don’t have one yet. I always knew I would be using a pen name once the time comes. There are many reasons for this. First of all I don’t have a very interesting sounding name. My name is distinct only in its blandness. And I can’t even blame my husband for it. My current name is actually an improvement over my maiden name.

Secondly, I’m naturally shy and don’t like talking about myself too much ( I know, hard to believe since this blog is all about me me me me and my writing ). I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I get asked about my books when I’m not expecting it.

There’s also the previously discussed matter of my inability to write in one genre. If I am fortunate enough to get  published the traditional route then a pen name might come in handy if I end up publishing works in different genres.

There are many factors to consider when decided if you want to use a pen name or not though. These article had good information on the subject:

Should You Be Using a Pen Name?

Once you decided to use a pen name it’s always a good idea to make sure there isn’t someone out there already who’s using the same name. That’s why  I don’t have an author name to use right now. Both time I thought I had the perfect name it turned out someone else already was using it, so needless to say I’m still looking.

How about you? Do you write under your own name, or do you prefer a pen name? And if you use a pen name, how did you come up with it?