Using a Pen Name

Greeting Everyone!

Welcome to another installment of Carol’s Corner.

For today’s post, I have an interesting questions.

If you could choose a pen name for yourself, what would it be and why?

Pen names are a huge feature in the writing world.

Many authors don’t want to use their real names so they opt to use a different one for their books. Lots of authors have done this including, Nora Roberts.


Of course, some readers may be confused as to why an author would choose a pen name. If you’re an author, wouldn’t you want to proudly display your name on the book?

First off, just because an author uses a pen name doesn’t mean they’re not proud of their books.

There’s many reasons authors choose pen names.

The number one reason is they want to protect their identities.

Many authors write because it’s what they love to do, they don’t care about the fame. Many writers may be uncomfortable putting their real name out there. They don’t want people snooping around to find info about them or hounding them online. So they opt to use another identity to protect their real one.

Also, a majority of the time if an author uses their real name it may cause problems. Depending on the topic they write, most people won’t be too receptive of an author’s work. I remember hearing about a paranormal author, who was fired from a job because of their story.

After reading about these examples, you can understand why an author wants to protect their privacy.


Another reason for using pen names is if an author switches genres. As writers we get the itch to go out of our comfort zone. Even though, we want to try a different genre, readers may not be so receptive to our ideas. For instance, let’s say a romance author decided to write a sci-fi novel. If this author uses their real name, odds are their sci-fi story won’t do so well with sales.

I’ve never used a pen name, although I have thought about it. When I first started writing romance books, I considered using a pen name. I wrote a couple of love scenes in my books and I was worried about what my family and friends would think. Everyone views me as a shy type. From the outside I appear this way, but inside I have a little bit of a wild streak.

In the end, I decided to throw caution to the wind and use my real name.  To my surprise, nobody had a problem with it.

Despite using my real name on my books, I have been tinkering with using a pen name. The reason is because I want to write in other genres. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing romance, but I’m eager to try my hand at other stories. When the time comes for me to switch genres, I may use a pen name that way people won’t associate romance with every book I write.


For my pen name, I chose a name that’s unique along with something that would be a good representation of me.

The name I chose is:


Virginia comes from the state I love in, plus I was almost named Virginia. But that’s a story for a different post.

Forrester comes from the family on The Bold and the Beautiful, which is one of my favorite soap operas.

I think the name is a good representation of my Southern roots along my interests. Plus, I think the name is one you’d associate with any genre. It’s a name you could find with happily ever after romances, murder mysteries, or futuristic sci-fi novels.

So to all my loyal readers, keep your eyes peeled for any books by Virginia Forrester. You never know, it could be a story by yours truly.




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