Slipping into a Sexy New Name


Unlike most people, I don’t wait until evening to slip into something more comfortable.  I do it every morning, after breakfast, exercise, and a shower. Yes. I slip into something more comfortable, more freeing, and even more sexy. And that something is my pen name. Liz Everly.

Photo by inger maaike.

Okay. So the name itself might not be “sexy.” I like it. It’s why I picked it. But what’s sexy and freeing about it is that it’s not my real name. My real name comes with a lot of baggage. A lot of shoulds, coulds, supposed-tos, and definitely NOT-supposed-tos. And Liz? She can let it rip. And she does. Smirk.

When you’re writing steamy or erotic romances, a pen name helps in a lot of ways. First, people make assumptions about those of us who write sexy stuff and sometimes those assumptions can be dangerous. Just because we write about sex doesn’t not mean we are up for grabs.

For some of us, it’s a matter of safety and security in our own communities, as well. I live in a conservative Southern state. I have children that go to public schools and are involved in a number of activities out side of school. It could get ugly for them. I don’t want that and I’m betting you don’t either.

Publishers love the pen name when writers are dipping into another genres. It suits their marketing purposes. They don’t want to confuse bookstores and the like about where to shelve your books. Nor do they want to confuse your “image.” Can the person who writes squeaky clean inspirational romances, for example, also write sexy romance? Yes they can—and often do. But publishers think they will lose business and readers. We don’t want that. So I am only too happy to oblige.

So for all those reasons I am Liz Everly. And every morning when I’m writing my steamy romances, I shed the skin of the other writer I am and slip into something else—a lighter, uncomplicated version of my writer-self.

What are your thoughts on pen names?

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3 Comments

  • madeline iva
    September 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The idea of slipping into another persona sounds fun. The reality is even more fun! I think when we read romance we’re also slipping into a different self than the face we show our family, our co-workers, our children. Women are multi-faceted individuals, for sure.

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