Not in furry.
Good article. Mog has always posted as Mog, and probably always will. When I go into mainstream, I’m going to craft a pseudonym, because I honestly don’t feel my very common first and middle names coupled with my hard to pronounce last name would be good for recognition.
I agree with using a pseudonym as a way of ‘liberating’ one’s self, especially with erotica. (I haven’t read nor written erotica, and I don’t plan to, but I can see why an author would us a pseudonym in that case).
Personally, I’d use my furry name for fiction, and use my real name for poetry. I don’t consider my real name a good author name, as it sounds too simple and common.
No. There will always be people who do not want to be identified with their books, or a current line of books, and not just because of erotica.
Heck, look at Jon Stewart. You know that’s a pseudonym, right? That he chooses his work not to be identified with his real name? Now in his case, it’s most likely because his real name doesn’t work well with show business, but don’t think that doesn’t work with books as well.
My other line of work (which I hope I don’t have to go back to) is that of a consultant. Do you know how many meetings I’ve been in, that have been derailed by someone asking if I’m the author on Amazon? It has had an effect on me, hopefully only in a good way, but you’d not likely hear about the bad ones.
So no, there will always be reasons for them, and people will continue to use them, and the example of JK Rowling was not a good one. Remember she sued the guy who outed her for millions of dollars and won.
We’re not going to see an end to pseudonyms until Congress bans anonymity.
I use a pseudonym because I don’t want my conservative relatives or people from my day job to know what I write.
I don’t expect to make a living any time soon from my writing and writing furry fiction seems as hazardous to employment as having stupid friends on Facebook.
For self pubbers the pseudonym or pen name is serving a different purpose these days. They’re not to conceal your identity but to communicate what genre the book is. You can see lots of thread about it over on the writer forum on the kboards but generally its in vogue to have different names for each genre you have stories in. Hardcore fans of you will go to your website and read all your names. This way you don’t have the fans of your romance reading your horror and getting disappointed.
I think furry has both special considerations and special problems when it comes to pen names.
One one hand, as Zarpaulus touched on, some people don’t want their furry stuff associated with their real name at all. They might be writing erotica or gay romances or what have you, or they just may be uncomfortable with being “outed” as furry for various reasons. I think it can make a lot of sense to have separate names between erotic and non-erotic writing, which follows FallenKitten’s observation about communicating genres. On a personal level, I’d like to see more people writing under their real name,* simply because I think it helps cement the idea that writing furry stories isn’t something you should be ashamed of. Our best stuff is worth getting in front of non-furry audiences.
On the other hand, even though pen names have a long and worthy tradition in fiction, it’s harder to get your work in front of non-furry audiences when your pen name sounds manifestly furry: an odd mononym, “CharacterName SpeciesName”, and the like. I’m not convinced that this doesn’t have an effect even within furry; the authors who seem to get the most respect and sales mostly write under their real name or a “real-sounding” pen name.
*In this case “real name” is more the name you identify with publicly and don’t try to keep separate from “you,” whether or not it’s your legal and/or birth name.
Agreed on both points. And I do think there’s a decent argument for using pen names as part of branding, even though I’m personally allergic to the general “branding” mindset.
I have often said that if I’d known I was going to end up writing within the fandom, I would have picked a Firstname Lastname type name. And that name would have been ‘Husky Galore’. (I suppose it’s not too late?)