I sometimes wish I’d been published under a pen name.
It’s not that I dislike my name – in fact I think it’s a good name. It points clearly to my Celtic roots and I’m proud of my heritage. No, the problem is that I share my name with rather too many other people.
When I first started sending stuff out I briefly thought about my name, but at that time the only other Kate Kelly that came up in my google searches was the infamous Kate of the Kelly Gang, sister to Ned the Australian outlaw. I thought she made a rather cool namesake, and so I kept my name.
But over the years, since those first short stories came out in print, a number of other Kate Kellys have appeared on the scene. There’s one who writes non fiction. She isn’t an issue since she clearly isn’t me. But then, when Red Rock went up on Amazon I looked at the ‘People who viewed this also viewed’ section and was horrified to see a whole load of rather steamy covers showing up – not the most appropriate thing to be appearing on the page of a children’s book!
And then there’s the Mormon activist! Now if you search on my name and Red Rock most of the hits will be her!
Even the Guardian muddled us up – linking to her biography from a piece I wrote for them recently! These days I seem to spend most of the time trying to tell people they’ve got the wrong Kate Kelly!
There are many reasons authors chose to publish under a pen name. Maybe it is because they are writing in more than one genre and want to keep their readerships separate, or maybe it is because they don’t want anyone they know to find out what they are writing – say they are a teacher or a Judge writing raunchy romance!
In my case I think I’ll use a pen name in future simply to avoid confusion!