Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why I use a pen name

Some of you may not have been aware that Reuben Malden Miller, or R. M. Miller, is a pen name. As you probably know, literature has a long and distinguished history of authors using pen names, and of course there can be various reasons for writers to employ them. Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article on the subject - For me personally, I have a number of  reasons for using a pen name.

Firstly, because I hope to write in a variety of genres and styles it is important to me that reader expectations are met when selecting one of my titles. Someone who selects a book by an author they like does not want to find they have in their hands something of a completely different genre, style and subject to what they had expected, especially if they have no interest in this other kind of writing. So my choice of pen name reflects a particular genre, style and subject, so that readers who enjoy it can readily discover more of what they like.

Secondly, using pen names to distinguish between types of writing is useful for me as an author too. It can help me approach different kinds of project in the appropriate frame of mind and help me to keep them true to their distinctive characteristics.

Thirdly, a pen name allows for a degree of anonymity. This can be helpful generally, but even more so with erotic fiction. I am very proud of my erotic fiction, and endeavour to offer quality writing of substance on important subjects. However, this writing explores very private passions and touches upon very delicate or even somewhat taboo themes, and I’m not sure I would want everyone and anyone acquainted with me to know I have produced these intensely personal stories. Indeed, it is possible this would constrict my creative freedom in the future. And I certainly would not wish that to happen. 

So there you have it, my explanation of why I use a pen name. Please don’t think my using one means I feel at all remote from my readers, or that I am being disingenuous in any way. To the contrary, it not only avoids confusion, it also permits me openness and directness in my writing and in any commentary as well, i.e. on this blog. The name of Reuben Malden Miller is not in essence a pretence, it merely identifies that very part of me from which these stories spring, and facilitates in practical terms my connection to you the reader. The thoughts of Reuben Malden Miller are not somehow disconnected from my real thoughts; they are my thoughts, for I am indeed Reuben.

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