What’s Your Name? Part 2: Authors With Identity Crisis

It’s no surprise that many authors suffer from mental illness.  But there are some that make you wonder if there’s a little bit of multiple personality disorder going on in there, too. In fact, there are times when an author themselves may wonder.  Romance author Jackie Ivie,  was once quoted as saying of her pseudonym, “I rarely wear make-up or a dress, but Jackie Ivie wouldn’t leave the hotel room without full hair and make-up and 4-5 inch heels….  I have a lot of fun being Jackie, but it can be a pain when traveling.  I have more baggage, and I don’t look much like my ID so security can take longer!”

In part one of “What’s Your Name?” I listed the eight top reasons why authors might use a pseudonym.  In this installment, I’m going to explore the authors who have taken on multiple pseudonyms.  You might find it surprising to find some of the authors you’ve read and loved are already on your favorites list for more than one genre.

1. Jayne Ann Krentz

This New York Times Bestselling Author of over 50 romance novels currently writes under three different pseudonyms, but has used as many as seven!  She has written under the names: Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Bentley, Stephanie James, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle, and Amanda Quick.  The last three of these listed are her current noms de plume.

2. Sandra Brown

Romance and Suspense writer Sandra Brown has written over 70 books,  60 of which were New York Times bestselling novels.  She has published under four different names: Rachel Ryan, Laura Jordan, Erin St. Claire, Sandra Brown.

3. Hannah Howell 

This best-selling historical romance novelist of the extensive and prolific Highland series has published under Hannah Howell, Sarah Dustin, Sandra Dustin, and Anna Jennet.  Her pseudonyms are used in association with her stand-alone books, separating her name from the historical romance series.

4. Donald E. Westlake

Author of the popular Dortmunder Novels, Donald E. Westlake has penned books under the names Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Allan Marshall, and Samuel Holt.  Those are just the more well-known of the 17 total pen names that he has written under during his career span.

Author Donald E. Westlake photo credit: Abby Adams

Source: Famous Dude
photo credit: Abby Adams

5. Ed McBain

If you haven’t heard of the 87th Precinct Mysteries series author, you’ve probably heard of his alter ego, Evan Hunt, who wrote the screenplay for The Birds.  But he’s also written under the names Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Richard Marsten.  There’s also a widely held rumor that he’d written some pornographic novels under the name Dean Hudson.  He vehemently denied the allegations until his death, and the rumor was never proven to be true, although highly suspicious circumstances leave some unanswered questions.

Source: Prweb

Source: Prweb

6. Dean Koontz

There are 10 self-confessed pseudonyms for Dean Koontz: Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, K.R. Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Owen West, and Richard Paige.  He also had allegations of writing erotica, but it was later revealed that a former associate had submitted these titles to a fanzine under Koontz’s name.

7. Benjamin Franklin 

Well known for his face on a coveted greenback and his signature on the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was also known to have penned many different journal and newspaper articles.  And you’ve surely heard of Poor Richard’s Almanac by Richard Saunders.  That’s him, too.  Franklin wrote under at least nine other names.  Some of them were pretty interesting names, too.  But that’s an article for another time…

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Come back soon to check out the next installment of What’s Your Name?  There’s still lots of fun exploring the mystery of pseudonyms!

YouTube Channel: CNN

Featured Image via Travis Wise

Leave a Reply