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  • Writer's pictureAuthor K.L. Hall

How (and why) I Chose a Pen Name

© K.L. Hall and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K.L. Hall and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When I first dipped my toe into the realm of self-publishing, I was nervous! My first self-published short story was an African-American erotica. At the time, I was on summer break from working with the school system, and needless to say, I wanted to keep my personal life and my newfound professional life as separate as possible. But, how was I going to do that? Of course, I went straight to Google and probably typed in something along the lines of “how to choose a pen name?”

After reading a bunch of articles, I came across one that mentioned how when J.K. Rowling first started writing, people didn’t know if she was male or female because she only used initials. That’s when the lightbulb went off in my head and I chose to use initials for my pseudonym. My main goal was to stay as under wraps as possible.

So, I started jotting down initials and last names that went together. Probably after four or five scribbles and blackouts, K.L. Hall was born. To me, it was simple, clean, and most importantly, not my real name.

Now that I write in multiple genres, I’ve chosen not to confuse my readers and again, chose another pen name (which just so happens to be my real name) for my children’s books. Whenever I decide to hop into another genre, I’m sure I’ll choose another pen name that fits that genre as well. For me, pen names are just as much a business decision as they are personal.

If you’re thinking about choosing a pen name and don’t know where to start, check out this pen name generator to help get the creative juices flowing!

Happy writing!

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