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What's In A Name

In a group discussion I had earlier today, the subject of names came up. Pen names were mentioned briefly and I thought about my own pen name choice. At the same time I was working with my Amazon author page. I have two in fact, because my first published story was under Sean Hillman and not SM Hillman. Going forward I will be using SM Hillman, though I may consider continuing my Urban fantasy tales under the name Sean Hillman.

My impression when I made the decision was that many women authors used initials or other pseudonyms to cover up the fact they were women as there is a real bias that exists. Of course there are tons of reasons to use a pseudonym. But it occurred to me that by using the initials, I could be treading on a practice that is used to protect a writer of a different sex or gender from bias. This caused some angst along the way, but plenty of writers use their initials. I just like the way SM Hillman rolls of the tongue. I do not hate my name, but a professional name seems to make a lot of sense for me. For what it is worth, I use it in some game design stuff as well.

Does an author's name matter to you? Do some names make you more or less inclined to pick up an author's work? Feel free to tell me about your own thoughts on pen names.



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