writing

how I come up with pen names

I play this game sometimes. You know the one. The “if I was a published author” one. And I’ve always thought, even when I was little, writing long and involved stories about princesses and their adventures, that I wouldn’t actually publish under my real name. When I was little, I decided my pen name would be “Paula Cattani,” which was the name of the daughter of the police inspector from La Piovra (“The Octopus,” it’s an Italian series about the Mafia) (oh my god, Wikipedia, why do you call it a “miniseries,” IT HAD TEN SEASONS WTF). And OK, her name was actually “Paola,” by my grandfather calls me that sometimes, so it works, too. IDK about it now, though, there are a lot of people with that name (although there don’t seem to be any writers by that name, in either variation), and I want something ~~~unique.

This probably works better for people with non-English names, but basically, I ended up taking family names and Anglicizing them.

  • From the root of my mom’s maiden name, I got “cart,” which makes the last name the rather obvious Carter.
  • From the room of my maternal grandmother’s maiden name I got “yew” (as in the tree). I was a little lost as to what to do with that, until through some lucky clicking on Tumblr, I discovered that, in some backwards etymology, “yew” is related to Eboracum, which is the Latinized name for York, so that works out pretty well. (see the Wikipedia entry for more, if you want)
  • My last name means anything from “pagan god” to “idol” to other things along those lines, and, well, IDK what I’d do with that.
  • The root of my paternal grandmother’s maiden name is the name of a town, which I’m gonna say derives from the word for the fava bean, so I guess I could dig into that and get something like Fabia/Fabian, if I go with the ancient Roman family name. Or I can just go with Lecter?

Shut up, I totally have different a name planned for when I want to write torrid paranormal romances.

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