Pen Name Obession

I think I’m really obsessed with having a good pen name. I went from J. Douglas Musashi to Dr. Nard von Wolfenstein to Wolfram G. Nards III (Wolfie to my friends) to whatever’s next. But I’m not satisfied with any of them. J. Douglas Musashi was originally supposed to be J. Douglas Steranko, a tribute to legendary Nick Fury artist Jim Steranko. J. stood for Jersey (where am from) and Douglas was for Douglas Adams. J.D., or course, also being an illusion to J.D. Salinger. And naturally all of that came together to make one horrible nom de plume. At the last second I got cold feet, or maybe bound feet might be a better metaphor because I wanted to keep an Asian last name.

When it came down to it I wanted to keep my ethnicity, but shedding my ethnicity was actually the driving force behind wanting a pseudonym to being with. One of my many theories on why I have yet to be published by any major publication is because of my Asian sounding last night. I’m not saying editors are racist, just that they expect ancient Chinese secrets, and when I don’t deliver on those ancient Chinese secrets, they become a little let down. If you’ve read The New Yorker for instance, you’ll find it plastered with stories by foreign born writers or set in exotic locals. The main reason, I see for this, isn’t the quality of the stories, but an excuse to use italic fonts for foreign words. Italics are special. Of course, editors could also be ducking my work because it’s terrible, but I’m not quite ready to accept that (although, acceptance is vastly approaching).

My newest pen name is BAM (the BA stands Bad Attitude), but I don’t think this is going to stick. Douglas Adams, one of namesakes, had a theory in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency that is pretty interesting. The theory goes as follows, all great best sellers have one thing in common: their surname is twice as long as their first name or vice versa. It doesn’t matter what’s sandwiched between the cover, as long as it has a visually compelling name slapped on it, it will sell.

Check it out:


J. K.




BAM might not go the distance. And I’m also a little too egotistical to try publishing my serious work under anything but my given name. If I happen to become famous (slim as this may be), I want it damn well to by the name on my license. I mean how else am I going to pick up girls in bars?

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Try generating names on the net..Lot of sites to choose..Goodluck with it!
01/20/10 @ 06:18
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it’s a creative thought
01/21/10 @ 05:28
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Why won’t you try generating names..Good resources on the web.
01/23/10 @ 05:34
I really enjoyed reading your insights and learning from your interesting and informative article. – Tula
01/29/10 @ 16:17
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03/12/10 @ 02:56
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I like the idea, cool!
03/16/10 @ 00:10

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