Pen Names


Do you have a pen name? I’m not really sure how the pseudonym business works. Enlighten me.

H.M. Brooks is not my real name.

Long ago, I started my first (I think it was my first) blog; and I used the username hesthermay. It’s a combination of my middle name, first name-ish, and month of birth. I have the same username for Twitter (follow me!) and, obviously, this blog too. I was a bit annoyed that I was stuck with that name since I hadΒ a bit of an audience under that name. I was afraid if I changed it, I’d lose some readers and followers.

All that to explain why it looks like my name is Heshter May Brooks. Plus I’m notΒ entirelyΒ ready to let the whole world (okay, as if the whole world cares – but maybe a few acquaintances) know what I do. And my real name doesn’t sound that artsy. And I’m from Germany, so you wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyway.

All right, I’m done rambling.

What about you? Do you reveal your identity on your social media? If yes or no, why? I’d love to read your comments on this topic.



24 responses »

  1. Pen names?…I have names for all my pens…oh, I see what you mean. Erm…forget that bit about the pens.

    I’ve never written under a nom de plume but I was tempted once, early on. My name really is Chris Musgrave (stop laughing). When I write, I write as myself, invest a lot of who I am in what I do and I love it. I write under my name because, despite knowing everything about my characters, I’m still discovering myself…one word at a time.

  2. Ifeoma’s my real name and Dennis is my dad’s name. Combined it because I’m Nigerian and I think my surname might be a bit hard to pronounce. “Ifeoma” is even harder to pronounce, I think, but I like it. I don’t know if I’ll abbreviate later, but we’d see.

  3. I started out with a pseudonym. It was difficult to put myself out there and let people see the real me. Then I read that an author should not be afraid to put themselves into their books. That really made me think. Am I afraid to be myself? I am. But now I’m trying to remove the mask and let people see the real me. All of my book characters reflect a piece of myself, and being that personal, I find it easier to write.

    I am still afraid of letting my family and friends read any of my work. But you can’t hide behind a pen name forever.

    • “You can’t hide behind a pen name forever.”
      I’m still working on not being afraid of what I do – that is, not being afraid of telling people (friends and family) I write and want to publish books.

      • I understand. I told my parents and friends, but still hide out online because I don’t want them to read my work. It’s so hard to open up.

  4. Isabella Stines is also a pen name. I’m still not 100% sure how I came up with it—Stines was my great-grandmother’s maiden name, though. My real name is not at all “authorly”. Plus, like you, I’m not sure if I want all of these acquaintances knowing what I do in my spare time. πŸ˜‰

    I was actually thinking of doing a blog post about this topic. Looks like you beat me to it! πŸ™‚

  5. I never really considered pen-names, I always just thought of using my real name. But then I can see the use of pen names, my username for WordPress (Harliqueen) is actually my dog’s nickname and I’ve been using it for years as a sort of pen-name πŸ˜€ I like the look of initials, especially as my name is a little difficult. Good post, you’ve given me lots to think of now πŸ˜€

  6. Pingback: #WriterRecharge Update I | H.M. Brooks Writes

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