I’m thinking of self-publishing a novel I wrote a couple of years ago, but I have a problem. It’s my name. There’s already a Steve Morris writing fiction, and at least two others writing non-fiction. There are also some Stephen Morrises and bizarrely, even a novel called Stephen Morris. Who needs another Steve Morris or Stephen Morris in the world of books? I could use my full name, Stephen T Morris, but that sounds square to me.
There’s only one option – give up. No, just kidding. I need to invent a pen name, a pseudonym. But what?
I need a name that fits my writing style – funny, philosophical and offbeat. It has to be easy to spell unambiguously (Ashleigh vs Ashley, MacDonald vs McDonald, etc) and it has to be unique. I want a name that no other person has, otherwise I may as well stick with my own name.
It’s easy to invent silly names:
- Donald Dimplebottom
- Manfred Manhandler
- Oscar von Klaxenburg
But I want to be taken seriously, even though my novel is comic. And though the name will be fictional, I don’t want it to sound made-up, even though all names are, of course, made-up. I’m looking for something cool, yet distinguished; contemporary yet timeless; serious yet approachable. I like the idea of using a surname as a first name for added gravitas:
But I don’t want to end up sounding like a law firm. You know the kind of thing – Pickles, Anyweather, Cornmarket & Drudge.
And in order to make it unique I intend to combine it with a distinctive surname, perhaps the name of a place:
It worked for James Bond. It worked for Harrison Ford. It didn’t work for Smith Trafalgar Square. Let’s find a combination that will work for me.
So here are some suggestions:
- Lewis Appleford
- Harvey Blackthorn
- Ashton Fleet
- Jackson Radcliffe
- Taylor Woodstock
What do you think of these? Do you have any better suggestions? Help, please!