Monday, July 9, 2018

Pen Name or Real Name?


Last Saturday, Sweetie Mom and I jumped in the car and headed for one of our favorite places: Pennsylvania Amish country. Since mobility issues limit what she can do, we have a set routine. We always stop at the Bird-in-Hand Farmer's Market first.

While she rested on a bench, I checked out the souvenir shops. I found this cute keychain in purple (my favorite color) embroidered with my name. Sold! Sometimes the simplest things make me smile.

Looking at my new item, I started thinking about how something personalized attracts people. Growing up, there were so many girls in my class named Susan that it didn't seem all that special or unique. Nicknames seem inevitable and mine was Susie as a kid. Later, I adopted the moniker, Sue, and eventually returned to my original Susan.

As a writer, I decided to use my full name, Susan J. Reinhardt. After having a number of non-fiction pieces published, I discovered there was another writer with the same name in the general market. At first, people got us mixed up. The last several years it hasn't been much of a problem.

I wonder if I should have used a pen name. However, the foundation for my platform was already under my real name. All in all, I'm glad I didn't try to make any changes. After all, I'm rather attached to it. Like my keychain, it makes me smile to see it on a book cover.

Writers:  Did you research author names when you started writing? Did you ever consider using a pen name?

Readers:  Have you ever confused two authors because of a same or similar name? Please share your experience.

Photo Credit: Susan J. Reinhardt 

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