Multiple Pen Names – How 35 Authors are Really Just 12 People!

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There are many reasons authors write under two or more pen names. These nom de plumes are done to differentiate between publishers, book series, writing styles, genres, and more. It’s all about branding, making it “easier” on the reader to find what they’re looking to read.

I don’t know about you but I need a cheat sheet to know which authors is really the same person! I cobbled together a quick list of some of the larger named authors, feel free to add the ones you know to the mix. See how 12 people make up 35 authors!

1-7: Jayne Ann Krentz is the perfect example of why an author switches names. She has 7 in total! When she isn’t writing contemporaries as Jayne Ann Krentz, she publishes historicals under Amanda Quick. On top of that she is in print under the names Jayne Bentley, Jayne Castle, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass, and Stephanie James.

8 & 9: Next is the most obvious NYT bestselling author Nora Roberts. She is also J. D. Robb.

10 & 11: JR Ward writes in addition under the name Jessica Bird.

12 & 13: Elizabeth Hoyt’s other alias is Julia Harper.

14 & 15: I love Julie Garwood! Did you know she also creates stories by the name of Emily Chase?

16 & 17: Amelia Grey, who has guest blogged here at Love Romance Passion, is Gloria Dale Skinner.

18-21: Big name author Sandra Brown goes by Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan, and Erin St. Claire.

22-24: The lovely Victoria Holt writes for us also by the names Phillipa Carr and Jean Plaidy.

25 & 26: Emily Bryan and Diana Groe is the same author.

27-29: Sabrina Jeffries will scribble under the names Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas.

30-33: Hannah Howell writes lots of wonderful highlander novels. She is Sandra Dustin, Sarah Dustin, and Anna Jennett on top of that! Wow!

34 & 35: Suzanne Brockmann also publishes under the name Anne Brock.

15 thoughts on “Multiple Pen Names – How 35 Authors are Really Just 12 People!

  • August 7, 2009 at 3:47 AM
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    I have a few more:

    Gayle Callen also writes medieval historicals as Julia Latham.

    Toni Blake writes erotic romance as Lacey Alexander

    Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler write erotic paranormal suspense together under the name Sydney Croft

    Shayla Black is also also writes as Shelley Bradley

    Jennifer Ashley also writes as Allyson James, Laurien Gardner and Ashley Gardner

    Jasmine Haynes also writes as Jennifer Skully and JB Skully

    That’s what I can come up with looking at my bookshelves :D

    Hugs,
    Pearl

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    • August 7, 2009 at 8:18 AM
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      @Pearl – See I knew there were more that I didn’t know about! How cool!

      @Meghan – Me too about being surprised and about if I was an author how I’d want them all under my name!

      @Mali – Good one with Jane Austen!

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  • August 7, 2009 at 4:01 AM
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    I’m always surprised when it turns out I love one author, not two as I’d thought. The branding makes sense, but I feel like if I was writing books, I’d want them all to be under my own name. I suppose, were I a romance author, I could just tell everyone. ;)

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  • August 7, 2009 at 6:05 AM
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    Eleanor Hibbert –> Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, Eleanor Burford, Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow, Anne Percival, and Ellalice Tate. :D

    And some didn’t bother with a name, such as Jane Austen who wrote under “A Lady”.

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  • August 7, 2009 at 12:07 PM
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    Hi Keira , I have one.Since I am so devoted to Sherrilyn Kenyon; she also writes as Kinley MacGregor.

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  • August 7, 2009 at 2:18 PM
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    @Meghan, @Keira:

    Sometimes an author has no choice about writing under different pen names. If she begins writing under one name with one publisher, and moves to another publisher, it’s possible the contracts she was using at the first publisher means she has to leave the pen name with the first publisher and begin again with another pen name or her real name at the new publisher.

    It can get very complicated when you start writing under pen names!

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  • August 8, 2009 at 9:36 PM
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    I found another, Jenna Peterson writes historicals but uses the name Jess Michaels for writing erotic romance.

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  • August 8, 2009 at 9:45 PM
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    Wow! Good job guys! Who knew there was so many pseudonym authors out there?! I thought coming up with 35 was clever of me (at Peter Pan would say) but I think you have all just matched my number! Keep it up!

    *Edit: After counting out your contributions the score is 31 to 35, but that’s not going to last long in my favor, lol! :D You all rock!

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  • August 11, 2009 at 5:05 PM
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    @Tracey – Interesting on the contracts. That’s one way around them – provided they specify that the name itself, not the author, that is the legal entity.

    Anyway, on one hand, pen names make me feel cheap, used, and taken advantage of. On the other hand, pen names do allow the author to branch out from her “established” style and genre, and break out of the restrictions of, say, a historical-romance-exclusive publisher. Maybe she’s got a great story about Blackberry love. :P

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  • August 31, 2009 at 11:25 AM
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    A little late coming to this post, maybe, but I’m a big fan of Katie MacAlister, who also goes by Kate Marsh, Katie Maxwell, and apparently Marthe Arends. I actually just found out about the last one a few days ago, when searching for another author on Amazon. She doesn’t list that last name on any of her websites, but supposedly, the first romance she has ever published was under that name. I’ll have to check it out!

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  • September 17, 2009 at 8:46 AM
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    Very very late here, but am catching up on everything as I take a sick day. Hard to read and cough, but I try. L.A. Banks of the Vampire Huntress series is also Leslie Esdaile Banks, Leslie Esdaile, and Leslie E. Banks. And a really, really nice person. :)

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    • September 17, 2009 at 9:07 AM
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      We forgive you! Great additions!

      Reply
  • August 9, 2010 at 1:39 PM
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    Jenna is also writing as paranormal as Jesse Petersen. Karin Tabke is also Karin Harlow(paranormal.)

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  • June 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM
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    Can you please provide the pen name of Margaret McGrath?

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  • July 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM
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    Lexi Blake also writes as Sophie Oak and Lori Foster also writes as LL Foster and Morgan Ashbury as Cara Covington

    Reply

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