What’s In A Name? By Paidra Delayno

The big day finally arrived when the book I’ve been writing is finished. It’s been re-read and edited a half dozen times. Now it’s time to submit.

Once the “agent finding” process got started, it didn’t take long to figure out there are far more writers than agents. I actually considered changing my name to Stephen King. That way agents would at least open my query letter before tossing it into the circular file.

On a lark, I purchased a book that reviewed many of the self-publishing companies. BookLocker.com was the leading company so a query was sent off to them. Verifiable Evidence, my detective story, was accepted.

The next decision was whether to publish under my own name or a pseudonym? How many guys would be interested in a detective adventure written by a woman? As soon as somebody picked up the book and saw my name, the “chick-lit” light would start flashing.

I realize there have been successful female authors who have written detective stories. Can anybody picture, however, Mike Hammer discussing his inner feelings? The only thing the reader wants discussed is how long it takes Hammer to pull out his .45 auto and start blasting.

If I were to use a pseudonym to disguise my gender, how would I decide which name to use? For several reasons, I picked Loren as a first name. Douglas always seemed like a strong last name to me. I mean, Kirk and Michael were and are pretty hot guys. How far astray could I go with that name? Verifiable Evidence by Loren Douglas had a nice ring to it.

I tried out the name on an e-book first. The decision to name it accompanied several other new problems. The first being the need of a face to go with the name. On the wall to the right of my desk is a picture of my parents. Fortunately for me, my father usually goes along with my crazy ideas. This one was no exception.

Marketing a work of fiction is like being thrown under the bus. An Internet marketing person I know told me the best way to market my book was to join social networks. He added the cardinal rule however, was never openly market. Work it into conversations instead.

I tried two approaches. The first was Loren Douglas creating his own identity on the net. How hard could it be? I’m a writer, after all. The problem I found was so many of the sites were visited primarily by younger people with whom Douglas had no meaning. He is, after all, a man in his early sixties. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps I should have selected the picture of a younger man.

The e-publisher I had my other novel with asked me to participate in a written on-line interview with them. Not only was I marketing Verifiable Evidence, but also the name Loren Douglas would have good exposure. This was good!

My second approach was to use my own identity and say I was marketing Douglas’ books for him. Over time, friends I made on-line saw through that ploy. I finally had to confess the truth when one lady was convinced Douglas was my husband.

Under my own name, I’ve written articles to post on the Internet. Now, people know my work and realize there is no “chic-lit” spoken here. My next book, a mild sci/fi western, will be published under my real name. The question might be asked why I bothered using the pseudonym? Because, at the time, it worked for me.

Paidra Delayno’s first love is writing. Because she also likes to eat three meals a day, she is employed in the senior healthcare industry in both Oregon and Washington. Her first novel, Verifiable Evidence, was released through BookLocker.com. Her most recent novel, Forty Miles Of Bad Road, will soon be released through them also.