Authors Who Write…as Other Authors

Pseudonyms are popular with authors and their publishers for many reasons: sometimes an author’s given name is too lengthy to fit neatly on a book cover, sometimes it’s spelled in a way that might trip readers up when they go to search for it, sometimes it’s hard to pronounce, or shared by someone much different than the author. There are nearly as many reasons for taking on a pseudonym as there are…well…pseudonyms!

Since modern marketing is big on branding, when an author makes a genre jump (going from fiction to nonfiction or from suspense to high fantasy, as examples) or a target audience change (from adult to children’s books), publishers like to differentiate what they’re selling so the public isn’t expecting the same sort of book the writer has written before. There are historical reasons to take a new name, too. Sometimes women wanted to write at a time (or on a topic) that was considered inappropriate for a woman to write (remember, ladies, there was a time when reading novels was enough of a charge to have you institutionalized…).

Here are some well known authors who have written under different names:

Benjamin Franklin………………………….Mrs. Silence Dogood, Anthony Afterwit, Caelia Shortface, Busy Body

Washington Irving…………………………..Jonathan Oldstyle, Diedrich Knickerbocker, Geoffrey Crayon

David Cornwell……………………………….John le Carre

Nora Roberts…………………………………..JD Robb

Stephen King…………………………………..Richard Bachman

Richard Matheson…………………………….Logan Swanson

Jackson Pearce………………………………….J. Nelle Patrick

Kara Taylor………………………………………Kara Thomas

JK Rowling………………………………………Robert Galbraith

CS Lewis………………………………………….Clive Hamilton, NW Clerk

Joyce Carol Oates……………………………..Rosamond Smith, Lauren Kelly, Rae Jolen Smith

Isaac Asimov…………………………………….Paul French

Agatha Christie………………………………….Mary Westmacott

Dean Koontz………………………………………Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, KR Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Owen West, Richard Paige

Anne Rice……………………………………………Howard Allen, Francis O’Brien, AN Roquelaure, Anne Rampling

Michael Crichton…………………………………..John Lange, Jeffrey Hudson, Michael Douglas

Jayne Ann Krentz…………………………………..Amanda Quick

JR Ward………………………………………………..Jessica Bird

Erika Mitchell (Leonard)………………………….EL James

Patricia Highsmith……………………………………Claire Morgan

Ulrich Leonard Tolle………………………………..Eckhart Tolle

Meg Cabot………………………………………………Jenny Carroll

Ray Bradbury………………………………………….Douglas Spaulding

Alice Mary Norton…………………………………….Andre Norton, Andrew North, Allen Weston

Madeleine Wickham………………………………….Sophie Kinsella

?………………………………………………………………Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee………………………..Ellery Queen, Barnaby Ross

?……………………………………………………………..Elena Ferrante

 

Want to learn more? Click on any of Shannon’s sources!

Modern Writers with Pen Names

Romance Authors Write Under Multiple Pseudonyms

8 Famous Authors Who Used Secret Pseudonyms

Authors Who Write Under Different Pen Names

 YA Author Aliases

List of Pen Names

 

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