Open book hop – What name should you write under

Do you write under a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, would you ever consider it?

When Michael and my Sir Chocolate books were first accepted for publication by TSL Publications, I considered using my maiden name instead of my married name. I had published a number of non-fiction books and articles as Robbie Cheadle and thought it might be better to separate my work writing and my private writing by publishing as Roberta Eaton.

When I broached this idea with my husband, he wasn’t keen on my publishing under my maiden name. He preferred that I use Robbie Cheadle and so I did. I then proceeded to publish Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, While the Bombs Fell, co-authored with my mother, Elsie Patricia Eaton, and my poetry book, Open a new door, co-authored with South African poet, Kim Blades under that name.

When I started writing horror, supernatural and historical fiction for young adults and adults in 2018, I reconsidered using an alternative name in order to clearly separate my adult writing from my children’s writing. Once again I revisited my maiden name, Roberta Eaton, and once again hubby encouraged me to add the Cheadle. In retrospect, I am glad I went with Roberta Eaton Cheadle for Through the Nethergate and Whispers of the Past as I have been able to link my children and adult writer profiles on Amazon which makes finding my books easier for readers.

I did not realise when I published under an alternative name for Though the Nethergate that it would be like publishing my first book and I would have to put a lot of work into marketing it under that different name which people didn’t automatically link to Robbie Cheadle. In hindsight, it would have been easier to stay with Robbie Cheadle but I have done the work now and I think / hope it will be easier to market A Ghost and His Gold which I hope to release in October this year. I am also writing a book of short stories with a focus on South African history. I have one story started about the 1820 settlers from England and another about based on the van Rensburg massacre in 1836.

Do you write under a pseudonym? Would you consider doing so?

What do other writers think about this topic? Find out here:

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

40 thoughts on “Open book hop – What name should you write under

  1. I don’t think I’ll ever publish under another name than Lela Markham. It’s easy to spell, it’s easy to pronounce and it provides a little bit of screening from weirdos who might show up on the porch. But I totally understand why some people use different pen names for different genres. One of my favorite mystery writers was (is, though she’s died) Barbara Michaels. She wrote under Barbara Mertz as an archeologist, then wrote a certain kind of mystery under Michaels and then was Elizabeth Perkins for another kind of mystery. It worked for her, but it’s too much effort for me as an indie author.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lela, in retrospect, it is easier to write under one name but now that I have done it and have established two author names and profiles, I believe it is working for me and will be worth it in the long run. The names are linked which was a good move, I think.


  2. Common “wisdom” these days is to publish each genre under a different pen name. But when it only takes an internet search to connect the dots from one name to another, why bother?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Patricia, it was more because I didn’t want anyone to purchase one of my adult books under the misguided idea it was for children. I wouldn’t separate genres i.e. sci-fi and fantasy, but I wanted to separate children and adult.


  3. I know a writer who has about four different pen-names, plus her real one, depending on genre. I couldn’t cope with all the remembering, the constant “who am I today” going on in my mind. I can see the privacy aspect but that’s about as far as I’ll go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Richard, I most certainly won’t add another name to the pile. Two, which are actually variations of the same, is more than enough for me. Interestingly, I do have a different readership on my two blogs and profiles. People who enjoy my cake art work and children’s books aren’t necessarily interested in supernatural and horror.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Robbie – thanks for sharing your thinking about what name to publish under. I haven’t thought much about it but I think I would just go with my married name – if I ever publish! Name and brand recognition is very important – the way you did it with your different genres makes sense. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jacqui, Amazon linked my books under both names. If you go to my Robbie Cheadle author profile, it brings up Through the Nethergate and Whispers of the Past. If I look for one of these books, it brings up the link to Robbie Cheadle. I think its great. I am glad you have also had a good experience with Amazon.


  5. I flirted with a pen name for a while, but ultimately wanted to see my own name on my books. As for maiden name, well, as of next year I’ll have literally spent just as long alive married as unmarried (20 years married, 40 years old), so I don’t feel more attached to one than the other. In the end, I went with the married name because it’s a helluva lot easier to pronounce than the maiden name (KEDZIA). So, yeah. That’s my story ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does make sense to use your own name, Jessica. I originally thought of using my maiden name purely because of the connection to my work publications under my married name. Terence seemed to prefer me to use my married name though, and I didn’t mind. I am glad I varied my author name for my adult books now that I have done a lot of the groundwork. It takes effort though.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such an interesting topic and Mae Clair recently had a big discussion about it. It all comes down to branding and readers being able to find you. I have found that if you don’t use the same name consistently, Amazon doesn’t link the books to your Author page. That’s an inconvenience to say the least. I’m for sticking to one name. Thanks, Robbie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jan, fortunately, Amazon did link my books but the surname is the same which may be why they did. I wouldn’t go with something vastly different and would use a variation again either. To much work rebranding yourself.


    1. Khan is fairly common, Bella. I know several people here in SA with that surname. Bella isn’t that common among ladies with this surname here. Our community tend to have quite traditional names. I suppose you could pick a name you’ve always fancied – why not?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HI Bella, no problem at all. Sorry, that was actually quite silly of me as I know it is Shah and I have a few friends with that name and also the surname Khan. Shah is Indian and Khan is middle Eastern as far as I know. Apologies for the slip up. Is Bella common in the Indian community. I seem to think it is Italian but I could be wrong about that.


  7. I don’t published under my name because its too hard to pronounce and allows me privacy. I was going to use a different name for my kids books, but decided it would be too much. Besides parents buy kids books:)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s