Pseudonyms and cultural appropration?



Yes, I thought that might happen. It’s a shame it happens, I mean, plenty of women write about male characters anyway. I guess that’s why so many female authors go under pen names, to reach a wider audience.


I suppose they’d also be turned off by names like “Icky” too. I am fine with this.

There was one story I considered using my proper name on, but realised the ethnicity of it might cause problems because of opposition to the culture the story draws from. Icarus (Greek) with a Turkish-based story I: Icky’s the better option, I think. Nice and ambiguous, and I don’t want anyone to consider the story derogatory due to LGBT themes with current attitudes towards that vs the history I’m writing about.


Being an Indian by origin, my name is a pseudo name. Kassandra Admirablekins. I kinda mixed up the words for the last name. I think because most of my stories are grim and dark, I use my pen name to write the novels. Is that bad? Would I land up in a problem for not using my real name while writing novels?


Or a woman named Mary Alice Norton writing hard science fiction in the 1950s.


Not sure what you’re saying. Did Mary Alice (or Alice Mary) publish as Andre?

Pretty well-known that she was a woman, or so I thought when I read her books.

One frequent cause of snarling here in the 'States is the tendency for Anglo writers to publish books based on First Nations history and lore, and use pseudonyms such as Star Wolf, Silver Eagle, etc.

They usually get outed pretty quickly.


It was a BIG secret when she got started.

Later it was accepted, but when she got started it was a Big No No.

Then there was the Big Name children’s author who wanted to write something else and not get flamed.

I realize that it can be very easy to get judgmental - and there will always be people doing it for the wrong reasons, but in the end the only people we can control is ourselves.

As long as my side of the street is clean, I’m okay.


The situations you’re talking about - along with gender issues - are the main reasons for pen names. Moving into a new genre - experimenting or writing in a genre that is known to be gender sensitive - like a male writing romance - are common reasons.

Nora Roberts wanted to write futuristic cop books, but her publisher insisted that she do it under a pseudonym. It’s no secret anymore who J. D. Robb actually is, but at the time it was a big deal, at least in her publisher’s mind.

Even Stephen King felt the need to use a pen name for some of his stuff - Richard Bachman.

On the other hand, Jayne Ann Krentz writes romance all the time, but has different pen names for different sub genres - Amanda Quick is who she uses to write historical, Jayne Castle is in sci-fi / fantasy and she has another pen name - Stephanie James - for things she wrote specifically Harlequin.


LOVED Amanda Quick at one point.

If I ever start writing hard science fiction I will use a man’s name.