Wednesday, 6 September 2017

IWSG: Reader, I Married Him

It's time for September's Insecure Writer's Support Group post and I'll be talking about a whopper of an insecurity this month. You can learn more about the group's founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and purpose here. The awesome co-hosts for September's post are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.

On Sunday, Mr PS and I visited the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth. Whilst there, a mug with the Jane Eyre quote Reader, I Married Him caught my eye. It seemed rather appropriate given Mr PS and I were married on August 30th. I'm now Mrs Stephenson! Alas, this leads me to an insecurity of epic proportions. What name should I now use for my writing?

In 2013, I published two short story collections under my maiden name, Ellie Garratt. Should I continue to publish in that name or do I switch to Stephenson? If I switch to my married name, do I use Ellie Stephenson, E Stephenson, or even Eleanor Stephenson? Which would be better when considering I write mainly science fiction and horror? Do I vary my name depending on genre? Should I re-publish my two short collections under my new name? If I decide to keep publishing as Ellie Garratt, will that offend my husband?

My head is spinning with possibilities.

What do you think? I'm not in any rush to make a decision, but it is nagging away at me. I'd appreciate any thoughts and idea you might have.

I couldn't end this post without sharing some wedding photographs. We were married on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. It was a beautiful day, and every bit the fairy tale I thought it would be. We could not be happier, and are both looking forward to what the future brings.

16 comments:

  1. What an amazing place for a wedding. Congratulations!
    You're already established under Garratt, but maybe someone who's gone through it can give you some good advice.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. It was a stunning location.

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  2. Lovely pics :)
    Personally, I'd keep my maiden name. It's such a huge pain to change everything and why should a woman have to give up her name...unless she wants to of course.

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    1. It will be a massive amount of work to change to my married name, though at least it's been several years since I published my two short story collections. Still can't make my mind up, though.

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  3. Congratulations! Here's the discussion I would have with your hubby: What is the pragmatic answer in terms of where my author brand is at? If your author brand is not huge, as in you haven't put a tonne of time into it, and you don't think you have a lot of name recognition at this point, then maybe you could make the switch. However, if you do have some name recognition, and you don't want to lose all the marketing effort you've put in, then I wouldn't switch it for pragmatic reasons. But if you're going to switch, it's always better to do it sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the more name recognition you'll have to start all over with. I'm co-hosting this month, and I thought I would pop in and say, "Hi!" http://www.raimeygallant.com

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    1. Such great advice. Thank you! Given that I haven't published anything since 2013 and not done any serious marketing for well over a year, I think changing to my married name won't be too traumatic. However, it will take a considerable investment of time and some money. Decisions, decisions!

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  4. Congrats! Oh, that first shot is so gorgeous.

    Raimey has some good points. If you've established yourself, you don't want to lose those readers and have to start over.

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    1. Thank you! We've just received all of our wedding photographs and are now left with the unenviable task of choosing which ones to print. Gulp.

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  5. I loved that you shared all your wedding goodness. Congratulations!!! Your author name? At this point, i honestly think it's your preference. You could even keep your maiden nam (or vise versa) as a pen name.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not sure I'd want the work involved with a pen name, but it does at least keep writing and personnel life separate.

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  6. Hi Ellie - that's wonderful - congratulations to you both: Mr and Mrs Stephenson ... it looks glorious and you look so happy. Keep your name and start your new life as Mrs S ... using your maiden name for your authorship - just enjoy life and you will ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. I don't think I've ever been happier. You given me me much to consider when it comes to my author name.

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  7. Hi ellie,
    Keep writing under your maiden name, unless you are desperate to ditch it. Changing your name when you have already had stuff published will mean that you will lose readers unless they are almost stalker like fans. As for men requiring us ladies take their names stuff and nonsense. Obviously in the real world I go by my married name but would love to change it to my cyber world name. I personally think Ellie Garratt- Stephenson sounds fab as well. That way you have the best of both worlds.
    Congratulations
    Rach x

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  8. Such gorgeous pictures! You look beautiful. :) I know quite a few married women who use their maiden names as their author names more for security sake than anything else. Your legal name will now be your husband's, but with your maiden name as your author name, it will be harder for the creepy people to find you in real life. When I married, I did decide to use my married name because it was easier to spell and cooler than my maiden name of Poulsen. (No one could ever spell it properly!)

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  9. You're making my head hurt with all these name questions! Not fair that men just keep their name . . .

    Pen names don't really matter to anyone except the author. You can credit your writing with any future publications. I don't know why you would need to change your writing name at all - unless you just want to. Hopefully readers are attracted to your writing style, not how the author name sounds/looks.

    The wedding pictures are awesome. What a great setting to take them in. Hopefully you both find your happily ever after :)

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  10. Congratulations, Ellie! It looks like you had such a beautiful wedding!

    As for your author name, there is no right answer. Since you haven't published for a while, you will be starting fresh--to some extent--when you do publish again. At that time, you can decide to keep the name or change it. On that note, I have heard that names closer to the beginning of the alphabet sometimes show up better in searches. Not sure if it's true or not, but something to consider. Plus, several people make the point about keeping your name as is for fans and a bit of separation from you and author you. Good luck with your decision!

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