Pen Names of Some Famous Authors: Being credited as the author of a book is a significant accomplishment, and most individuals would be happy to have their name on the cover. However, some authors have chosen to refrain from using their own names in their works for a variety of reasons. Some authors used it as a method to start over and recreate themselves without being bound by past success, while others just wanted to be sure that their sexual identity would not be taken into consideration when evaluating their books.

Pen Names of Some Famous Authors – How Many of Them You already Know About?

J.K. Rowling

Pen Names of Some Famous Authors - J.K. Rowling
Pen Names of Some Famous Authors – J.K. Rowling

When penning the Harry Potter books, author Joanne Rowling used the more masculine-sounding pen name, J.K. Rowling. She chose her initials rather than her entire name and included the fictitious “K” for good measure since her publishers were worried that young males wouldn’t want to read the novels if they knew that the writer was a woman. For her mystery novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, which she wrote after finishing the Harry Potter series, she once more used the pen name, Robert Galbraith.

To the author’s dismay, it was soon found that she had actually written the book rather than being a former employee of the Royal Military Police as had been claimed in the marketing. The book was originally written by the author with adults in mind and was intended to be released without fanfare or anticipation; but, ever since her pen name has come to light, sales have exploded.

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz

For some authors, one or perhaps even two pen names are sufficient, but Dean Koontz doesn’t think so. This prolific author had the same issue as Stephen King after being advised against publishing more than one book each year, especially in diverse genres. In the 1970s, he continued to write books and used at least ten unique pen names, sometimes as many as eight.

He has used a variety of pen names, some of which include Aaron Wolfe, Anthony North, Richard Paige, David Axton, and many more. Fans have long speculated that Koontz, who claimed to only have used 10 pen names, may be responsible for even more works published under various aliases.

Stephen King

Pen Names of Some Famous Authors - Stephen King
Pen Names of Some Famous Authors – Stephen King

Horror master Stephen King was keen to write additional works as he began to experience popularity. However, publishers at that time believed that an author should only publish one book a year since any additional books would oversaturate the market. King decided to use the pseudonym Richard Bachman instead of obeying this restriction in order to publish more than one book every year.

The pen name, which King came up with on the spot while speaking with his publisher on the phone, is a blend of Bachman Turner Overdrive and Richard Stark. The trick was eventually discovered when a bookshop employee noticed how much King and Bachman’s writing styles resembled one another. King verified the link and immediately announced that Bachman had passed away from “cancer of the pseudonym.”

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss

Editor-in-chief Theodor Geisel was sacked from Jack-O-Lantern magazine when one of his parties broke the law during Prohibition. Unfazed, he kept writing for the publication under the fictitious middle name of Seuss. Due to the fact that his father would have preferred for him to pursue a career in medicine rather than writing, he proceeded into becoming one of the most successful children’s authors of all time and put “Dr.” to his pen name.

For novels, he wrote and others illustrated, Geisel also adopted the pen name LeSieg, which is obviously his last name spelled backward. He used the pen name Rosetta Stone for a novel he co-wrote with another writer.

Isaac Asimov

Pen Names of Some Famous Authors - Isaac Asimov
Pen Names of Some Famous Authors – Isaac Asimov

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov had already established himself thanks to works like Nightfall, Foundation, and I, Robot. He was a little apprehensive to use his own name, though, when he was invited to write a sci-fi book that will be made into a television series. He thought all television programs at the time were terrible, so he used the pen name Paul French for his Lucky Starr books.

Although the television series was never produced, Asimov wrote six additional novels in French. When he became sick of the trick, he began to leave hints in the books, which eventually led to the public learning who he really was.

Ann Rice

Ann Rice
Ann Rice

Over the course of her career, Ann Rice, the author of the well-known Vampire Chronicles books, used a variety of pen identities. Since her real name is Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, Ann Rice is actually one of her pen names. She published four medieval erotic novels under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure when she chose to take a vacation from writing vampire stories.

Using the pen name Anne Rampling, she penned two additional sexy books that explored the darker aspects of sex and relationship.

Agatha Christie

Pen Names of Some Famous Authors - Agatha Christie
Pen Names of Some Famous Authors – Agatha Christie

When Agatha Christie is mentioned, the majority of people immediately conjure up murder mysteries like ‘And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express’. Since Christie was fully aware of this, she decided to write romance books under the alias, Mary Westmacott.

Christie claimed that she writes romances for fun in addition to her day job as a mystery author. Christie was able to complete four novels under her pen name until her readers found out, however, this did not stop her from finishing two more under the name Mary Westmacott.

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton is known for writing action, sci-fi, and thriller novels like Congo, Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere. However, before his works were turned into successful blockbuster films, Crichton also wrote using a few different pen names.

Together with his younger brother Douglas, he co-wrote one of his books, and the two chose the pen name, Michael Douglas. Chrichton started writing books while still a medical student and used the pen name John Lange because he was already very tall. With the pen name Jeffrey Hudson, a nod to the well-known dwarf of the 17th century, he carried on this pattern.

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