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!