Wednesday, July 3, 2019

5 Benefits of a Pen Name #IWSG

Exciting News: I will be publishing a young adult fantasy adventure this year. I'm super nervous about it. It will be my novel debut. That's my insecurity revealed for this month. I've decided to take the pen name, Elle Cardy. For so many reasons:

1. My name, Lynda R Young, is super common and I get lost in the crowd. It is so common that I couldn't use it or a variation of it for gmail. It's why I use Lynfaw (faw = fearful and wonderfully, if you're curious).

2. It's shocking how many people can't get my name right. It's not a difficult name. Or you'd think. I get Linda, Lydia, and a bunch of other variations. Just yesterday I got Lydr. Say what, now? Also, my middle initial, which is crucial if I want to be found on Google, is so often left off when someone publishes my work or mentions me online. A little frustrating.

3. It's a long name which means it has to be small on book covers. Yes, I think about these things.

4. Young is at the end of the alphabet. Whoever thought a list in alphabetical order was fair had a name in the first half of the alphabet. Just saying ;)

5. I figured the name Elle Cardy was short, easy to remember, difficult to get wrong, and it separates my nonfiction writing from my novels so there's no confusion. There's also almost none of us on Google. Obviously I won't be hiding my true identity. The plan is that everyone who knows Lynda R Young will also know Elle Cardy and vice versa. I do have separate Instagram accounts though.

@LyndaRYoung for my macro photography.
@ElleCardy for everything books.

(I only follow you back if you're active and you actively like my stuff. I'm looking for real connections on Instagram, not numbers.)
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AntipodeanSF Issue 250 is now available in the paperback version. If you’d like your own copy, you can pick it up here. With over 50 stories, it is definitely worth checking out. Otherwise, just go along to the AntipodeanSF website to read the stories online for free for another month.
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June Reading

Red Rising by Pierce Brown -- this was beautifully written. I read it in two days, which for me is fast since I'm a particularly busy and a slow reader. It is set on Mars and is a dystopian. Think Hunger Games on Mars.

Stallo by Stefan Spjut -- this is a translation of a supernatural thriller written in Swedish. I would've liked to have read it in its original language because the translation is a little flat. But the story is awesome. It's the kind of book you settle in with under a blanket. It's about the mythical creatures of the woods that steal children and a woman searching for them. I loved it.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard -- Very similar to Red Rising in so many ways but instead of the Reds against the Golds, it's the Reds against the Silvers. The worldbuilding in this one isn't as rich as Red Rising, but the story is still enjoyable if you love typical young adult books.

NOTE: I am a judge for the 2019 Aurealis Awards. All my book reviews are my personal opinion and don't reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinators, or the Aurealis Awards management team.
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Are you a huge fan of young adult fantasy? Let me know in the comments. What are your favourite books in that genre? Done any reading last month? What were the standouts?


This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE

Note: The new look for my blog is temporary. I'm currently down with flu and it was the best I could do for now.

58 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I can see why you went with a pen name that was easier to remember. My name is a mouthful and I'm sure some people can't remember it.

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  2. Congrats!

    Wolfe is at the end of the alphabet and always near the bottom shelf. So i understand your desire to change it to something further up the alphabet.

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    1. My maiden name was a Ch, but everyone still got that wrong all the time and turned it into Sh. Siiiighhhhh, lol.

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  3. Hi Lynda... Congrats! So happy for you. I LOVE YA fantasy. My first novel was a YA fantasty, a series I started and never finished. One of these days I will.

    As for my favs, of course, the HP series, that's what got me hooked on fantasy writing. I'm also a huge fan of the Shanara sereies by Terry Brooks...more fantasy than YA, but oh so amazing story lines and imagery.

    Wishing you all the best! I plan to use a pen name for my memoir. Like you, no one pronounces my name correctly. It's not common, but everyone has a hard time pronouncing it.

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    1. Yeah I read all the Shannara books back in the day. Loved 'em. And of course, HP :)

      Wrong pronunciation isn't as bad as wrong spelling when it comes to SEO searches. But it is frustrating.

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  4. Well Elle Cardy, lovely that you're out there! I think it's great to have a pen name for your genre. As you know, I'm no great fan of YA fantasy, but I'll read anything, LOL.

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  5. Congrats on your book. I can see why you want to use a pen name. I just picked up Red Queen at the library. Right now I’m finishing Sorcery of Thorns. I’m really enjoying it.

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    1. Sorcery of Thorns is on my very long TBR list.

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  6. Congratulations Lynda! It looks like you've given a pen name a lot of thought and they sound like very valid reasons, too. Good on you! Sorry to hear you're unwell - I hope you feel better soon. :)

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  7. Hi Lynda - well you've obviously thought the names through ... and I like Elle Cardy ... so good luck now with both: non-fiction and your novels. Get better and take care - cheers Hilary

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  8. Congratulations on the novel!

    I never thought about the length of the author's name being smaller on the book cover. Hmm.....

    Feel better soon!

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    1. Because I design book covers, it's what I notice.

      Thanks, Madeline

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  9. Great pen name! I've read Red Rising and really enjoyed it. I'm not a huge fan of YA fantasy, but I do read it from time to time.

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  10. I hadn't thought about alphabetical order when it came to pen names, but it makes sense.

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  11. First off, congratulations! As a long time IWSG-er, I'm trilled to read about your success. Really! And as for your pen name, I like it. I hear you about names that get mixed up. Liza becomes, Lisa, Liz, Leeza and too many other derivatives to count! Best wishes to Elle Cardy!

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  12. Congrrats on getting your novel published! That’s awesome! I never thought of alphabetical order either, though my last name starts with W.

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    1. My maiden name was a C, then I married a Y and the change was significantly noticeable.

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  13. I've been mulling over the idea of swapping up the names I use. I have the same problem as you with Patricia Lynne. Everyone spells it Lynne without the E, so if someone searches for Patricia Lynn they won't find me. Patricia Josephine is longer, but less likely to misspell and if you search it, you find me easily.

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    1. Yeah, I hear ya. I tried Lyn, but people keep spelling that wrong too.
      Easier to spell and find is a whole lot better.

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  14. Interesting about pen names. It makes a lot of sense. Luckily, 'Jacqui' is fairly uncommon but not completely!

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    1. I like it better than 'Jacqueline' which sounds like when my mom was angry with me!

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    2. lol, so funny. Yeah, I get the same when people use my full name rather than just Lyn

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  15. I wish I'd used a pen name. At the time I thought that using my own name showed I was proud of my writing and wanted to own them. Now it's awkward with social media in differentiating between personal and professional. And, as much as I share with my students that I am a writer and use it as an example of trying and trying again, I don't want them to read my steamy scenes and equate that with me, their teacher. :(
    I do plan on publishing in another genre and using a pen name for that.

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    1. Keeping it separate is often super helpful for more ways than one. Best wishes for the other genre too.

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  16. Congrats on your book! I love your pen name! I have one too, that I hope to use one day, as have a very generic name. :) I haven't been active on instagram for a couple of months but sure love your photos! I'll get active again to see them, when I feel I have better shots to share. Like you, I don't want just post so get numbers! And I want to post more quality then quantity.

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  17. Congrats and best wishes on your new endeavor. I loved Red Rising so much I bought three of my children the book and they in turn bought the rest of the series. I read some YA fantasy.

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  18. Great reasons to have a pen name indeed. Congrats too! Can't say I've heard Elle Cardy before either.

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  19. Elle Cardy is a great pen name! I've had issues with my name, as well. Last name has been featured as Lowry, Lowrey, Lowrie, Lawry, Lawrey, Lawrie, Laurey. It goes on. Not to mention the handful of (male) convicted criminals named Lee Lowery. Something to think about before my first publication.

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    1. Oh my gosh! At first glance you name seems great. I love the alliteration in it too. Musical. Shame about the extra associations and the spelling difficulties.

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  20. I like Elle Cardy. I followed you. I read and liked the Red Queen, the second book, Glass Sword, wasn't my favorite, though. I'll have to read Red Rising.

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    1. I don't think you'll be disappointed by Red Rising

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  21. I like your pen name. Good points. Congrats. Happy IWSG!

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  22. Elle Cardy. That's cute!!! Will this be for other genres too? I write more than YA and I wonder how to stretch my name across the genre world (from YA to historical or realistic fiction). I've seen how James Patterson is writing in all sorts of genres and no one is confuzling it. Hmmm. Thoughts?

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    1. It's not really the readers who get confused (especially if you make the covers clear), it's the algorithms. And James Patterson is a big enough name, it wouldn't matter. I plan to write novels in fantasy and scifi and maybe thriller. I think the name can cover all bases of fiction at this point. I can always change it later down the track.

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  23. Congratulations on your new name (and writing identity). You might even need a new website just for Elle Cardy for those very specific genre readers! Even with separate Instagram accounts, but what a neat accomplishment. Book to recommend that I'm reading this month (and kudos for including your reads in this month's IWSG post): Delia Owens' When the Crawdads Sing. May the coming month be full of good writing for you.

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    1. I love the title of that book.

      And yes, I will have an author landing page for Elle as well.

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  24. Congrats on the coming release of your first novel! I do release announcements on my Speculative Fiction Spot blog if you're interested in one when you're ready. :-D

    I recently started using a pen name as well. I normally write dark speculative fiction under my real name, but I wanted to get into writing paranormal romance as well, so I decided to use a pen name to keep the two separate. I don't hide my pen name either. Don't see the point! :)

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    1. I might take you up on that offer!
      There's still a lot I need to do first, and time is running out! Eek!

      Yep, it makes sense to have separate names for those markets.

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  25. I like you pen name and congrats on the new story. I enjoy fantasy a lot but YA is a hit or miss for me, I haven't been able to figure out why. In the end though, a good story works whether YA or adult.

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    1. I agree. A good story is a good story no matter the genre or market

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  26. Was there any other thought going into your pen name? I think it is fascinating that you decided to go with a pen name but also decided not to hide your real identity.

    And I totally feel you regarding instagram! I'm not actually that active nor do I like many posts too much, but I absolutely hate being followed and then immediately unfollowed. Especially if I decide to follow the person back! And, really, this goes for all social media. I wish people would follow and connect in good faith and quit trying to game the system! Argh!

    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. My list pretty much covers the reasons I chose a pen name.

      And yeah, that follow to unfollow is just silly and time wasting. Ghost followers are also a problem ie people who follow you but are completely silent and don't actually like any of your stuff. You might get a "follower" but it means nothing.

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  27. I love your pen name!
    I laughed at your comment about alphabetical order - I've had students get SO excited whenever I started from the bottom (or the middle) of lists :)

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    1. I love that you thought to start somewhere else on the lists. :)

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