I Wish I Had a Pen Name

I don’t think I’ve ever complained about my name here before, so allow me to rectify that, won’t you?

My name is Erika Mitchell. It didn’t used to be, I used to be a Martinez, but then I got married and now I’m Erika Mitchell. I love my name, it’s an excellent name. It suits me.

What doesn’t suit me is who else is named Erika Mitchell. Or used to be, until she got married. That person? Is EL James. Also known as the author of the Fifty Shades of Gray series.

Just for a little background (in case you’ve been somehow immune to the whole porn-in-plain-sight phenomenon {I’m not judging, just calling a spade a spade}) EL James wrote some Twilight fanfic and threw in a whole bunch of BDSM and sex scenes just for kicks.

Then, she fixed it up a bit so it wasn’t so Twilight-y and sold the books to a publisher and then people the world over bought oodles of the books and now she’s this mega-rich author whose maiden name happens to be my name.

Now, should this be a big deal? No. Is it a big deal? Yes. Because I’m an author. An author who just so happens to share a name with a super-successful household name author. And people keep thinking I’m her.

Here’s the thing: I’m not a Twilight fan. I don’t write erotica. If you like these things, that’s cool for you, but they’re seriously not my preference. At all.

If I were being confused for an author who writes virtually any other kind of book, it would probably be fine. I’d laugh it off and be on my merry.

But to be confused for someone who writes BDSM Twilight fanfic…?

It’s like some cosmic jokester sat around trying to think up the best way to make my head explode. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fielded emails and comments from people asking to sell sex toys in my honor or making fun of how bad my writing is (which, even though I know they’re not making fun of MY writing, still sucks to have to read).

All this to say, I kind of wish I’d thought up a pen name before publishing under my own name. But I have an author website and books published under my own name so now it’s too late.

Still, if I did have a pen name, it might look like this courtesy of a pen name generator I found online:

Jackqueline Thomas

That sounds like a good thriller writer name, doesn’t it?

2 thoughts on “I Wish I Had a Pen Name

  1. My name in one version (first, maiden name initial only, married last name) is the same as a woman who at one time worked for the Regan/Carter/Nixon administrations.

    The strangest thing which has happened is that a man who had met her back then went looking for her on the internet, found my information, and signed me up for the newsletter for an organization whose policies I strongly disagree with before he received confirmation that I was the person he thought I was. Apparently, from what little research I’ve done on her, she would have been in favor of those policies.

    Overall it was extremely presumptive of him, and a bit head-explodey for me but now something I can look back and laugh at (especially since the other lady in question is now deceased).

  2. -Blanche, How strange! Too bad she wasn’t on your political wavelength, you could’ve freaked people out by saying you were her reincarnation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *