Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Nom de Plume - Zina Abbott

nom de plume

noun \-ˈplüm\
: a name used by a writer instead of the writer's real name.

After much agonizing, I have decided to use a pen name, or nom de plume, for certain novels with historical themes. 

Zina Abbott

I chose this name for the following reasons:

1.  To me, it has a nice historical ring to it.

2.  The last name starts with the letter "A." Sometimes when people are searching for something to read on either bookshelves or ereader cloud collections, they start with surnames beginning with "A." That is, they do that unless they are like me and occasionally start looking from the end of the alphabet.

3.  The first name starts with a "Z." Since it is at the opposite end of the alphabet, I thought it makes the pen name more memorable.

4.  After conducting a Facebook and a Google search for that name, I didn't find nary a one.

When I was researching the pros and cons on using a pen name, two suggestions stood out for me:

1.  Search the internet for the name. Find out not only how many people have that name, but what are they up to. You might not want to choose the same name as a porn star or someone with a rap sheet ten miles long. (Like I said, I did not find one Zina Abbott.)

2.  Use your first name with a different surname. Friends and faithful readers will have an easier time remembering your pen name that way. (I considered Robyn Abbott. There were several on Facebook. Nothing objectionable about them that I saw, although they might object to me using their name for a pen name.)

What tipped the scales for me was that I didn't find any Zina Abbotts out there. Of course, now that I have chosen that name, Zina Abbotts will probably start popping up everywhere like weeds.

But, for now I am Robyn Echols writing historical fiction as Zina Abbott. I plan to use this pen name for my novels in my Golden Oaks series and my Trails and Rails series.

Why would I even do this when I have a perfectly good name? Because I have written different genres of books. Readers get certain expectations about an author's books. They sometimes get upset when they buy a book thinking it will be similar to what they have read in the past, only to find out it something different.