Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The name of the game


I've noticed recently how many of you lovely bloggers have appropriately 'writerish' names. Names I can totally visualise gracing the front cover of a novel I'd want to read.

'Karen Clarke' just doesn't cut it, somehow. Where's the glamour, the integrity, the...the interview potential I implore thee? It's - well let's face it, it's plain.

Don't get me wrong I'm proud of my moniker, but I can't help thinking that if I were called Tiggy Bubblewrap or Felicity Sidecar, or Jemima Von Pantyhose, my name alone might attract that weary agent stepping over the slush pile - sod the quality of the writing.

According to the name generator I could become "Cassandra Eastwood" which has a rather nice ring donchya think? On the other hand, what's the point in writing a novel if you can't have your real name plastered all over the damn thing? On the plus side I can't think of any other Karens writing commercial fiction off the top of m'head, so that could be a bonus. Unless publishers hate the name, in which case I could always fall back on those daft pseudonyms my gran was forever firing out, usually after one too many cups of tea -

Paige Turner, anyone?
Marian Forlove sounds suitably 'romantic comedy'
Joanna Dance? (you have to say it quickly)
Kay Serrar is horribly appropriate...
...as is Penny Less

I suppose I should stay Phyllis Sophical about the whole thing and...

okay, okay I've finished now. I'll get m'coat.

19 comments:

Ernest de Cugnac said...

V funny. My brush with fictitious names was as an undergraduate, so long ago that they used to pass around a register. It was replete with ridiculous names, many rude such as R Sole and Jenny Tills. Shame as much creativity did not go into our studies. Though I was in fact a swot.

Lane said...

Love that name generator. Not sure why it keeps giving me the surname 'Blum' though. Think I'll stick to my own!

Your name is just fine. You'll be the first bestselling 'Karen' so how cool is that! And you'll be near the beginning of the bookshelves, not down on the floor:-)

kallioppe said...

How about a play on your name?

Carrie Clarke - Chicklit
Kay Clarke - Crime/Mystery
KC Clarke - Young adult/children's writing
Cassandra Clarkenson- romance
Kitty Clarky - erotica
K.C. Clarkson - lit fic

TOM FOOLERY said...

Whilst peeling me bags of spuds... thought of this little name change around for you.

RARE CAKE (K.L.N-KAREN LEGENARY NOVELIST) her latest novel is selling like hot cakes!

OK stupid suggestion, Karen Clarkey sounds just find to me. Tommox

SpiralSkies said...

Wow, I'm Catelina Cruise. unfortunately, the jollifying 'music' made me throw bricks at my pc and now it has brwkm.

Love Kallioppe's Kitty Clarky.

How about Kitty-Kay Clark for that trash lit novel?

Dumdad said...

War and peace by Dumdad.

Hmmm, not quite the ticket.

Bernadette said...

Have you ever actually bought a book just because of the name of the author? (Unless its because you know them!) Or NOT bought a book because of it? Ah Hah!

I think Karen Clarke is a very stylish name.

BTW whatever happened to the Sunshine Band?

HelenMH said...

I often wonder about this name thing. Not that I'll ever have to worry about this - but sharing a name with someone famous could work against me I think. Having said that, I'm quite attached to my name and, like you, would be a bit reluctant to abandon it if I ever am published. Tricky one.

Anna said...

I always leave your blog with a smile... :)))

ta love!

KAREN said...

ernest - Ah yes, many a fun hour has been spent dreaming up naughty names like that. Not recently, you understand. I have FAR better things to do. Oh yes.

lane - It's fun isn't it? You don't look like a Blum to me!

That's a good point about being near the beginning of the alphabet...hook people before they get tired :o)

kallioppe - LOL! I like Carrie Clarke, with its Carrie Bradshaw overtones. Can't see myself EVER writing erotica though. The thought of my mum reading it...

tommo - I'm insulted that peeling spuds brings me to mind, but I'll let you off as I like a name with Cake in it (my nickname for years was T, short for Teacake 'cos I was hooked on the damn things. Rock n' Roll eh?)

spiralskies - Ooh, that sounds a tad exotic - especially combined with the muzac.
Might be worth writing trash-lit just so I can use the name!

dumdad - Oh, I don't know......no, on second thoughts you're right :o)

bernadette - I keep them in a cupboard for rainy days!

I've never been put off by an author's name (apart from Kerry Katona or Jordan) so I guess that speaks for itself :o)

helen - I think having the same name could work in your favour! If she was a terrible actress it might be a different story :o) You could always stick your middle initial in there. For a while I was Karen Anne or Karen A. but thought it was a bit 'affected' as my mum would say!

anna - Thank you! Nice to know I'm good for something :o)

Paige said...

You see I was going to go for Paige Turner but I made a horrible discovery when I googled the name...

Now, I'm just Paige.

Lily Sheehan said...

Karen Clarke is a great name. I go by the cover and then the blurb - the name only comes into play when its been recommended. Mine is Dahlia King (doesnt suit me I dont think - and that music was v.v.v.v. dodgy)

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia, from a bloke who does a bit o' writin' .....

Writerly names? Yep, yours is right on ....

Milla said...

love Kallioppe's very astute take on all this. I think Karen Clarke, is fine, no messing around. I mean you could be called Winifred or Deirdre (with all aplogies to, etc etc)... Although Felicity Sidecar is VERY tempting...

KAREN said...

paige - It would be quite funny though :o)

lily - I suppose a name is more likely to stand out in a BAD way if it's a silly one. Dahlia King isn't great, with or without dodgy music!

david mcmahon - Now THERE'S another writerly name!

milla - Winifred or Deirdre? Maybe with the right surname? Oh maybe I should just stick with Karen then.

Mickmouse said...

I think Karen Clarke sounds very 'writerish'. I had some very strang ones including Bonnie Holiday!! I am not sure about my name either, but may do the JK Rowling route that leaves an air of mystery at least to begin with!!

KatW said...

I got .......Pepper Spelling - I wonder what that would say about my book/writing skills????

Very funny post. I think your name is fine as is! I look forward to your book.

Kat :-)

KAREN said...

mickmouse - I rather like Bonnie Holiday - it sounds very jolly. Not so good if you're writing a misery memoir though!

katw - Pepper Spelling would be ideal for a children's book I reckon!

I've actually picked names for a couple of characters from that generator :o)

Fionnuala said...

What a fantastic blog (I may nick it!) I tried it and came up with 'Season Ross' Hmm, not sure at all......I've decided if I ever get to the great big published author shelf in the sky, I'll keep my maiden name which is much more pronouncable (is there such a word?!)than my marrried one. Phones ringing, gotta go.