What’s in a Pen Name?
By Amanda Flower/Isabella Alan
Authors choose pen names for many reasons to hide their true identities (like JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith), to distinguish their writing styles among multiple genres, and to fulfill contractual obligations.
In my case, I write under the pen name because my publisher for the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries, Penguin, asked me to. A pen name was one of the conditions the house set in order for me to write the series. At first, I was daunted by the request. I like my real name. I always thought “Amanda Flower” has a nice authory sound to it, but I really wanted to write the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries. I had to decide if having a pen name was enough reason to pass up this great story and opportunity. It wasn’t, and so I agreed.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted this new pen name to be. I had three criteria: it had to sound good when spoken aloud, look good in print, and have some significance to me.
I created an entire list of names and sent five to my publisher. Isabella Alan was number one for me from the start, and I told my editor that several times. None of the other names measured up. I liked how the name sounded when spoken, thought it looked nice in print, and of all the names I came up with, it had the most significance.
Isabella Alan is a name that honors two people I love dearly, one here on earth and one in heaven. Isabella is my niece’s first name, and Alan is my father’s middle name. In 2009, my niece was born, and my father passed away. The events happened within weeks of each other. By the time Isabella was born, we already knew my father was dying of cancer and he didn’t have much time left. I will always be grateful Isabella arrived before my father left this earth. It gave him an opportunity to say hello and good-bye to his first grandchild and promise her he’d wait for her in heaven.
They weren’t together long, but Isabella and my dad had a special bond, and I thought it was only fitting to pick a pen name that would honor the legacy and the future of the Flower name even if the name Flower is not on the cover of the book.
It’s SUPER SEPTEMBER! Amanda Flower (also writing as Isabella Alan) has three novels releasing in September 2013. To celebrate, she is giving away an authentic Amish Quilt hand-stitched by Amish in Holmes County, Ohio.
Enter to Win an Authentic Amish Quilt from author Amanda Flower! Click here to Enter!
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