An Author By Any Other Name…

I need a pseudonym.

I recently had a short story accepted for publication by Ravenous Romances and just received a contract to expand the story into a 200 page novel. The story is erotica (in my pretentious moments, of which I have a few, I refer to it as ‘literary erotica’) and while I’ve got no problems or shame attached with writing genre erotica (Laurel Hamilton does is all the time and she’s considered mainstream), ‘Dana Fredsti’ is not a name that conjures up the right image. At least not to me. And since I’ve already published MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon under my real name, I think it’s better to reserve it for further mysteries. That being said, Fredsti is a unique name and you don’t get a lot of options when you google it. On the other hand, my dad would flip if he found out. On the OTHER hand, my dad doesn’t use or much else on the computer. Oh, the quandary…

Trying to come up with a suitable nom de plume (there’s one of my pretentious moments for you!) is causing my brain to spit out all sorts of silly names, like: Kiki Dupont; Angelique DuVallon (I like the ‘Du’ prefix, for some reason. You could say I’m ‘du-prefixated.’… BWAHAHAHAH!); Constance Melons; Forest Hill (okay, my Muni train just pulled up into the Forest Hill station); Flame Winthrop (don’t ask). What my brain is NOT doing is giving me anything useful.

I asked a friend at work and she thought I should dig into my family history and use a family related name. Can’t use my mom’s maiden name – it’s already been snagged by another family member as THEIR pen name – and HER mom’s maiden name was Butte. Yeah, that’d make for a great erotica pen name. Dana Butte. Fanny Butte. Dana Fanny?


You can see my plight here.

So I’m soliciting opinions and suggestions here. How many of you think I should use a pen name for my new projects? And for those of you giving a resounding ‘yes’ to that question, what do YOU think a good pen name would be for me?

I have to send my contracts off in the mail tomorrow, so any expedited suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Even the silly ones!

13 thoughts on “An Author By Any Other Name…

  1. There’s always the old game of takiing your first pet’s name and the name of the street you grew up on – Mine’s Mitzi Kimball; not bad. Unless your dog was Spot or Fido, then you have a problem. Or combinations from those spammer emails sometimes produce good resutls ( Philomena Rodriguez, Desmond, etc.Well it’s a thought… maybe not a good one, but a thought. ha!

  2. It’s not Butte, it’s Butts, or Butt–or even earlier Botte! How’s about Dana Dana–like Roseanna Danna—

  3. You could combine one of your fantasy names with the family name — go for Melon Butte.

    Actually, I wouldn’t go with anything that sounds too “stripper.” Something girly (definitely not Helen, that’s too old sounding — besides, I”ve already trademarked Helen Melon Butte), but with a hint of literary.

    How about Willow Twain?

    Or, using Chris’ suggestion, mine would be Goldie Elizabeth. I graciously let you have it.

  4. Oh dear…Butt is even worse, Mom!

    HEck, I should have just used Zhadi, which is my first cat’s name. Short for Scherazade. Other pet’s names (not Fido)…Vootie, Foster, Beezle, Raven… Raven is good, but very overused… The spam idea is actually a good one!

    Helen Melon Butte. I…I am speechless with envy that you trademarked it first. And wiping up my spewed water. Thanks, Helen…

  5. Well, I’ve given this some thought, and came up with the following:

    Dana Le Boutte’ (Lay Boot-ay)
    Kinki Le Doux (Lay-do)
    Torrance Hardwick
    Vanessa Boubage (boo-baj)
    Jess Lourey

    I think I like that last one best.


  6. Seriously though…. so many people out there call you Zhadi, you really should go with that. Zhadi Shehera could work, eh? I think I’ll do a name meme next. Can I tag you again? Hehe.

  7. I don’t know her well enough for the Boubage comparison, but she-her-ah sounds like Zhadi during a wine moment, don’tcha think? Snort! I’m outta here.

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