Discussion: Pen Names

I recently found out that one of my favorite authors writes other books under a pen name and it just makes me curious why some authors do this. So I wanted to share my thoughts on this and some of the authors I know have pen names and to get your thoughts on it as well!




Recently, I found out a new recent favorite author of mine, Morgan Matson also wrote some books under a different name - Katie Finn! I had no idea! Morgan Matson is the author of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, and her recent release, Since You've Been Gone. They are all YA romantic/adventure/coming of age type of contemporaries and I love each of them. Under Katie Finn, she wrote another recent book that just came out, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend which is a first in a series involving revenge that's also YA romance contemporary. Under Katie Finn, she also wrote another trilogy including, Top 8, What's Your Status?, and Unfriended which is geared towards teens. The books that she wrote under Morgan Matson are definitely more popular but there has been buzz about her recent Katie Finn release and I am most interested in that one. But I am just nervous to read the books she wrote under Katie Finn because what if I don't like them? Will that change my opinion of her? Why did she write under a pen name anyway? The ones under Katie Finn seem more related to books like the Gossip Girl series, The Clique, and all those other teen type books which I am not that interested in reading. (Although I am pushing through the Gossip Girl series because I love the show) Part of me is excited because I have more books by her to read, but the other part just makes me hesitant to read them!


* Goodreads Links: Morgan Matson and Katie Finn


Another favorite author of mine is more famous by her pen name, Sophie Kinsella. She wrote the Shopaholic series and 6 stand alone novels including Can You Keep a Secret?, I've Got Your Number, and her most recent, Wedding Night. She also writes under her actual name, Madeleine Wickham (which doesn't that sounds more like a pen name?) and include a bunch of books such as 40 Love, Sleeping Arrangements, and Cocktails for Three. I haven't read any she has written under MW and I'm hesitant to do so. I love the ones she writes under SK, they are perfect romantic comedy reads. The ones she writes under MW are less popular and I heard people don't like them as much that they are more serious in nature and not light-hearted like the ones she writes under SK. So I don't think I'll try any of those under MW because I don't want to be disappointed.


Goodreads Links: Sophie Kinsella and Madeleine Wickham


So those are just two of my favorite authors that I'm hesitant to read there other books because I am afraid it will change my view of them. I know some authors write under a different name so they can explore other genres such as Nora Roberts who is know for romances writes as J. D. D. Robb where she writes more thriller type books. And then of course most people know that J.K. Rowling wrote a crime novel, The Cuckoo's Calling under the pen name Robert Galibrith and I think the reasoning was to see how she can do in that genre without everyone knowing who she is and having expectations because of Harry Potter. And there are numerous other authors who write under pen names for various reasons. I think the major reasons are so they can write other genres, people don't have expectations for their books, and probably to be able to market towards different ages.


Other pen names I'm aware of: Lemony Snicket is a pen name for Daniel Handler. He writes children's books under LS and YA under DH. Victoria Schwab (YA author) uses V.E. Schwab for her adult book, Vicious. Pittacus Lore is a pen name for 2 authors (one included James Frey author of A Million Little Pieces)  that created the Lorien Legacies starting with I Am Number Four. I know there are other ones, but I can't think of any others at the moment!




What are your thoughts on authors using pen names? Do you know of any authors with pen names? Have you read any books by an author from both of the names they use?