Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nom-de-Plumes for Famous Folks

Thomas King is well known for working in different genres and media, and in 2014 won both the RBC Taylor Prize for his non-fiction book The Inconvenient Indian  the Governor General’s Award for his fiction book The Back of the Turtle.  A few weeks ago I learned that King also writes mysteries under the nom-de-plume Hartley Goodweather.  He has said that while he enjoys writing genre fiction, he thought it might be less confusing for his readers if he kept a different name for his detective novels than he used for his more “serious” books. Despite this, the themes and quirky characters in Goodweather’s DreadfulWater mysteries wouldn’t seem so out of place in King’s literary fiction: a setting in Western Canada, mysterious occurrences, and wry and witty aboriginal characters that poke fun at stereotypical representations.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, also writes mysteries under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Galbraith’s Strike series focuses on a private investigator down on his luck after losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan. When asked why she chose to write under a pseudonym for her mysteries, she confessed she "was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback." Galbraith's latest book, "Career of Evil" is scheduled for release on October 20.

Nora Roberts beats them all when it comes to having an interesting set of pseudonyms for her genre fiction. The author’s real name is Eleanor Marie Robertson, but became famous with the name Nora Roberts for her bestselling steamy romances. She’s also used the names Jill March and Sarah Hardesty, but her second most famous pseudonum is J.D. Robb, the name she uses to author her “In Death” series which follows the cases of Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department. Roberts was able to keep her secret for about six years and 12 books until her publisher revealed the true identity of J.D. Robb.

There are many more authors who go by different names for each genre they write. Share your favourites in the comments below!

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