Thursday, August 7, 2014

Using a Pen Name - by Tia Dani

As promised we are giving our friends and readers a chance to get to know us a little better. The second question that pops up after why write as a team is "Why write under a pen name?"

Using a Pen/ Pseudonym is a personal decision. There are many reasons to use one. For us the decision was made because at the time we still had plans to publish stories on our own and when we did we would use our real names. Plus the first story we published was erotic and we were a bit self-conscious about how our families might react when they found out.

After our second book was contracted and became successful, we made the decision to put all our future work fully under Tia Dani. We registered the trade name and formed a partnership.  From that time on we looked at our writing as a business and Tia Dani was our business name.

How we came up with the name Tia Dani is interesting as well. We thought long and hard on a name to use and first, Bev came up with the suggestion to put our 'middle' names together. That didn't work because Christine doesn't have a middle name. However Christine really liked the name KrisTia. She used it for a while but eventually shortened it to Tia.

Bev's middle name is Ann. Tia Ann didn't quite have the ring we wanted. So we decided to go to the mall, walk around, and brainstorm.  While running through a few names to go with Tia (not to mention trying on so many pairs of shoes our feet hurt, spraying ourselves with various types of perfume making us smell like a bordello, and…of course…sampling assorted chocolates and caramel corn) the name Dani was thrown in the mix. We both loved it. Bev likes being called Dani. It fits her. So Tia Dani was created. It was later we realized that Tia Dani in Spanish means Aunt Dani. But we don't care, it's a pretty name and seems to be well liked. So far, no one has asked whose aunt we are.

As most of you know writers are generally a shy group. This is why a pen name has worked well for us. Not that we are shy in front of others but using our pen name makes it easier and a little more fun. It's kinda like acting. When we give a workshop as Tia Dani, we like to role play. It takes away the Christine and Bev thinks, to Tia Dani says…

Anyway, that's our pen name story and we're sticking with it.

A second thing we thought about is several of our friends use a pen name to keep their writing identity secret from employers of their day jobs. It might work but it's not that easy to remain anonymous. Publishers are required to report to the IRS (via Form 1099) of payments made to writers, which means they need your real name along with your social security number.

Well…that was fun reliving our beginnings, but now we need to get back to work. We are wrapping up our next story, a paranormal set in the northern part of AZ. We have shape-shifters, ancient legends, apache warriors, magic, and reincarnation. And always a little romance. We hope reading Call down the Darkness will bring you as much joy as we have had in writing it.

See you next month,

Tia Dani
Authors of, Time's Enduring Love.


  1. I enjoyed learning about how you chose your pen name. I had one years ago that was my middle name and the surname I had before I was married. It worked well for me at the time. Now though, I use my real name and that's down to my family who said it was time I stopped hiding behind a pseudonym. There's only one of me though.One name for the two of you is neat. Good luck with the next book.

  2. Roseanne and I were just talking about pen names so it's great to read a post on why you selected one. Ro and I both agreed we like seeing our real names on our books, but I can also identify with my debut/swan song Erotica done as Pepper St. Claire. Since a lot of people knew I was named for a spice but couldn't remember which one, I was frequently called Pepper. An author friend named Claire was very instrumental in helping me when I first started out, so I just added the St. and voila! Now, everything I write is under Ginger Simpson, and that's really me!

    1. Thanks Ginger. This is a great story of how you came up with your pen name. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Never considered a pen name but I do use just my initials for my YA stories. I also decided to put my maiden name on my books as well as my married one. Why should his family get all the credit. I have friends who use pen names and ones that a publisher asked them to take a name. Each person needs to make their own decision and for co-authors, your choice is great.

  4. I guess I'm arrogant but writing a publishable book is a lot of work and I want everyone who knows or ever knew me to see my name on a cover. I've never noticed an author's name that didn't seem appropriate but then I don't pay any attention to the writer's name unless I want to check out other books the individual wrote. Karla

    1. You make a good point, Karla. And it's true we want everyone to know that Tia Dani is really us. I'm sure that if we weren't writing as a team we'd want to use our real names.

  5. Interesting story. Thanks for sharing it.


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