Monday, August 3, 2009

What's in a Name?

I recently read that names starting with vowels don’t work well for author names. Now, I don’t remember where I read it, and at first, I dismissed it, but it’s been gnawing at the back of my mind ever since.

I know the potential is great for mispronunciation of my name, and it’s produced some amusing situations, but I’m not really worried about that. It doesn’t offend me, and it’s actually kind of fun to give the mispronouncers (it’s Monday, I shouldn’t have to come up with a real word that works better here) grief about it, especially telemarketers. But to think an agent might reject me based on my name? Like I need anything else to obsess about.

The rational part of my brain tells me that if an agent rejects me based on that, I don’t really want to work with them. So, no worries, I’m not really that concerned about it. But I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this. Do you think that agents/editors care about this sort of thing? How important is an author’s name? And if you think I’m being totally neurotic, feel free to share that as well.


  1. Look at it this way... you'll always be first on the shelf!

    I think an author's name can be important, but it depends on the circumstances. For example, if I were to publish under Lady Glamis, I think that might be a problem. Talk about weird, haha. Although it might generate some interest that wouldn't be there otherwise.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with your name at all. Where on earth did you hear that about vowels???

  2. Silly, Abby, vowels are great! Okay, so I don't have any research or statistics before me, but I must say ... it does seem silly.

    My first thought was was LG posted: you'll always be first on the shelf; what in the world could be bad about that??

    Now, go fret over something more important :)

  3. I definitely DON'T think an agent will reject someone on their name alone. Heck, they can advise you to write under a different name. I don't think it's an issue, but I could be wrong.

  4. No, I doubt very much anyone would reject you because of your name. They want your story to be perfect. If you can master the written word, they won't care if your name is Fred Flintstone. Well, they might care, but they won't reject you. However, your agent or editor could possibly hint that your name (if this were the case) didn't work well for marketing reasons. In that case, they may suggest you use a pen name, but I don't think they can make you do it.

    Lynnette Labelle

  5. Personally, I think your name has a nice ring to it! As an Amanda, maybe I'm in the same boat. I've kicked around the idea of using another name, but I think ultimately I'd ask my agent for her input and make a decision based on that advice.

  6. So that's a yes on the neurotic? :)

    LG--I wish I could remember where I read it. It was on somebody's blog, but it seemed so ridiculous, I didn't think to note the location until the thought had time to fester for a bit. By then it was too late. And LG's not such a bad name. I think it would work great for romance. Maybe a genre change is in your future? ;D

    jj--I agree it's silly. But, come on. I gotta obsess over it a little. Love the new pick, btw. Though, for some reason I pictured you as a blonde. :)

    Elana--I'm sure you're right. But my delusions don't always work out in my favor. ;)

    Lynnette--I agree. It's all about the writing. And I don't know, Fred Flintstone has its advantages, I'm sure. :D

    Mandy--Thanks! :D Guess I'll just deal with it, if I ever get to that point. :)

  7. I think you've got a great author name, but I know what you mean. I've never been Tricia in my life (I'm Pat) until I needed a name for my blog and possible books. It turns out there are tons of Pat/Patricia/PJ O'Briens already out there as pubs from Limerick to Sydney, as frat boys, and as published writers. Soooo I re-named myself. Will an agent like it? I have no idea, but I think I'll worry about that when I get that far. :)

  8. I wouldn't worry about your name. Like the others said, it has a nice ring to it.

    I helped a friend get a job at the company I worked for a while back. She applied and got called in for an interview. She called me right before her scheduled time and said, "Should I remove my nose ring?" I asked her if she liked wearing it. "Yes." I asked her if she planned to continue to wear it if she got the job. "Yes."

    I told her to wear it to the interview. She should show everyone the real her up front.

  9. Oh - she got the job, nose ring and all.

    Silly me, left off tyhe most important part.


  10. I, for one, have been jealous of your name since day 1.

  11. If they reject you because of a vowel, then really, you should reject them for being a class act bung butt. heh heh.

    I LOVE YOUR NAME. Keep it and plus It's not the name it's the cover and the epilogue that intrigues me.

    and that my friend I bet you have covered!

  12. *calming cookies*

    I think you're going to be okay. If your name is a problem, they'll say something. But they aren't going to pass on a brilliant piece of work because of the first letter of your name. Promise. Want some milk with that? O:)

  13. Tricia--Thanks! And you're right. There's no point obsessing until it actually becomes an issue.

    Jenna--I agree. We should all just be who we are, and if it doesn't work for someone else, so be it.

    Suzanne--Wow! Thank you!

    Tami--Thanks! And bung butt? Still trying to picture that. :)

    Danyelle--Thanks for the calming cookies! I'm not really worried about it. Just one of those nagging things. Now I just have to work on that brilliant thing. ;)

  14. Hi Abby!

    Lady G is right - first on the shelf is a big deal. And you've got the alliteration thing going, which, I believe, cancels out any ill effects of the vowel thing. ;)