What do these names have in common:
Ah, you saw Sam Clemens and you caught on. These are pen names. Eric Blair wrote as George Orwell, Francois-Marie Arouet was Voltaire, and of course you know that Sam Clemens was Mark Twain. Have you considered using a pen name? If you use your given name but were given the option for a pen name, what name would you choose?
Cronin Detzz is my pen name. I use it for two reasons. First, my real name is very common and forgettable. Second – and more importantly – my mother was a writer and she mentored me. Cronin Detzz was her pen name. Ironically, I am a junior so my mother and I not only share the same “real” name, we also have the same pen name.
Mom was killed by a drunk driver when I was 24. She was only 45. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to use her pen name. I asked my sister if she minded, especially since she likes to write, too. She was glad to let me use it.
My mom chose this name for very specific reason. In her time, female writers were still trying to break barriers. One of my favorite coming-of-age books, “The Outsiders,” was written by S.E. Hinton. Suzy Hinton used her initials to hide the fact that she is female. Similarly, Mary Ann Evans wrote as George Eliot. So my mother chose Cronin because it can be a male or a female’s name. Detzz was her own creation, and she liked it because of the double z’s. She felt that the “zz” combo was catchy.
Maybe using a pen name isn’t a big deal. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But with a writer’s need to be memorable or to have a name that is easy to pronounce, some people really should use a pen name.
Now that you know my reasons, I again ask you: If you use your given name but were given the option for a pen name, what name would you choose? If you already use a pen name, what is it and why?
Look forward to your comments. Keep writing & keep sharing! Cronin Detzz