Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Exploring the Pen Name
With Guest Blogger and Paranormal Author Tabitha Shay

(During the month of June, here at Today the Dragon Wins we explore the use of pseudonyms. Don't forget to participate in the discussion in the comment field to enter the contest for a copy of the eBook version of Choices Meant for Gods. Details were posted June 1.)

Pen Names: How important are they?

What’s in a pen name?
Well, for me, everything.
How important are they?
For me? Very.
I live in a small community. For the sake of privacy, I didn’t want to use my real name, so I put a lot of thought into what name I’d use to write and publish under.
Alas, I couldn’t think of a thing that suited me.
At the time when my first novel, Witch’s Brew, was about to be published, I needed a name fast. Then it hit me! I had six granddaughters. I decided I wanted to honor them by using their names or part of their names for my pen names, because Lord knew, I was going to be such a well-known author, I’d need more than one name, eventually.
To be fair to my granddaughters, I started at the top of the birth list and took the names of my two oldest granddaughters, Tabitha and Shayla, and came up with Tabitha Shay. It was purely coincidental that my first novel was about witches and the name Tabitha fit so well.
Then I got extremely lucky. I submitted a contemporary western romance to my publisher and they sent me a contract for it the same day. Now, I was in a tizzy. A new genre required a new pen name.
Granddaughters number three and four lined up for their share of the glory. Jaiden and Chelcee became Jaydyn Chelcee and my first western romance, In the Arms of Danger by Chelcee is scheduled for release June 7. Yes, that’s next week. Yea!!!
So that leaves granddaughters, Ashlyn and Emily. I’ve been thinking about spreading my wings into a new genre, M/M romances, but I haven’t quite built up the nerve. If I do cross over into this genre, then I’ll use the pen name, Emily Kaye Ash. Where did the Kaye come from, you ask?
Well. . .my daughter had a new baby girl less than a year ago and that really threw a sprig in my plans. I didn’t want to leave the new granddaughter out, so I grabbed Jadee Kaye’s middle name.
If I have any more new granddaughters, I don’t know what genre I’ll try next, but in the meantime, I’ve had a lot of fun combining the names and selecting my pen names. My granddaughters are thrilled at being included in grandma’s writing career and having their names on my book covers.
What’s in a pen name?
You guessed it. . .for me, everything.

Tabitha Shay

You can learn more about Tabitha and her work at and, where she has her blog. I encourage you to check her out!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger Paul McDermott said...

Obviously I'm not the first to scribble this idea in the margin of a notepad for future reference!
Using a name to honour/acknowledge the importance of another person in your life seems to me a very small gesture which we who are blessed [or cursed] with the gene which compels us to write can make to show love for someone who means a lot to us........

1:20 PM  
Blogger AuthorLisaLogan said...

Very cool, Tabitha! Nice to give that nod to family. Thanks for sharing the secret scoop with the rest of us!

4:28 AM  

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