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11 Jan 2012

RTW - Hi, My Name Is...

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic

If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

Already using one. :) The one you see on my profile here and my twitter account isn't my real name.  I've never wanted to use my real name for writing.  I just want to keep that and the day job totally separate from each other.  Gives the teaching assistant me a bit of privacy. 

I chose Robin because it was androgynous and I like the idea of throwing people off when they first see the name.  If I ever make it into the YA market I know that I mainly want to write horror.  Vampires, werewolves, ghosts etc.  Except that I worry a little that people will come up with this equation: supernatural + female = another writer creating brooding, supernatural hunks.  So I'll admit I'm a little worried people are going to assume I'm trying to bring in more sexy vampires or troubled, hot fallen angels when my supernatural creatures are actually kind of disgusting and paranormal romance isn't my genre to begin with.  I thought if I chose a unisex name that also sounded more male than female I won't be judged.  And I really am worried about that.   

But Moran is my real surname.  I didn't want to come up with a completely fake name.  And there isn't much story to Kate either.  The middle name was chosen when Robin Moran was already being used for twitter as was RMoran, RobinM, Robin_Moran etc.  Quite a boring story.

So, hi! I'm Robin Kate Moran, I'm a writer, and this is the identity that I want you guys to get to know. 


  1. Hi Robin Kate Moran! *waves*

    I've been a fan of paranormal romance but I miss the vicious, evil driven characters that they once were. So yay to you for bringing them back :)

  2. I can appreciate working within a school setting where kids are likely to Google you and perhaps read your work, you might want to make it a little harder for them to find your writing--especially if you're writing stuff that wouldn't be appropriate for their age (or that might get you in trouble with their parents). I know there's a lot of discussion over what is and isn't appropriate reading for kids, but choosing a pen name is a way to not make an issue out of it.

    Hello, Robin Kate Moran--it's nice getting to know you a little better. :)

  3. Haha, thanks Theresa! I hope to help YA Horror rise again!

    Colin, another reason why I'm wary about using my real name and telling my collegues. I work in the foundation stage (4-5 year olds) so while they wouldn't pick up a YA book their parents may find out and think it's inappropriate. It's not worth the risk. I love my job and next year I hope to train as a teacher. I wouldn't want to feel forced out of that job.

  4. Thankfully, the children I work with are too young to be googling me XD

    I love the idea of my name being androgynus too! Cole isn't a typically female name (and it is my name), so I'm looking forward to surprising people!

  5. Hi Robin Kate Moran. I can see how you would be worried about people associating a female writer and horror with paranormal romance. If bookstores don't have an actually "paranormal romance" section, they do tend to stick it in with horror. When in fact it should probably live in fantasy.

    New follower!

  6. Androgyny is good for keeping a little bit of mystery!

  7. Thanks, Tyler-Rose. See, that is a pet peeve of mine. Putting a paranormal romance as horror is purposely misleading readers. Yes, there are supernatural elements but the genre is all about the romance.

    At my local Waterstones they do have a dark fantasy section now where they all go. Just hope mine don't end up on the shelves because of the ghosties and werewolves lurking in the novel.

  8. I like the androgynous bit. I like initials in that way, too. And "they" say boys won't buy books written by ladies (which is ridiculous BTW)... so even better.

  9. I agree with Katharine (KO), I also like the androgynous bit. Same reason J.K. Rowling went with initials instead of her full name. I also like the idea of just changing one piece of the puzzle like either your surname OR your given name. It would still allow you to connect with the name on your books, which I would find difficult to do otherwise. Good choice =)

  10. I love the androgyny, Robin - sometimes I wish my name was androgynous, but I try not to fret about the associations too much. Also, your writing sounds awesome - I love when horror stories have properly ugly, vicious beasts instead of fluffed-up sparkling vampires.

    On a side note, your blog layout is gorgeous. The warm colour scheme is really wonderful.

  11. Thanks, Emma!

    KO, I've heard that's the problem. But then you see thousands of male fans for JK Rowling so boys are willing. I think it's when some YA books are made out to look and sound very girly and that might make the boys shy away.

    @Jaime, it'll also help to avoid with confusion! Knowing me I would totally blank a person who called me by a completely fake name because I'm not used to it and it's very different to my real name.

  12. I don't write supernatural, but this assumption always bothers me: "supernatural + female = another writer creating brooding, supernatural hunks" Along with the fact that if any woman writes a female character it's somehow wish fulfillment. I don't think that everyone who assumes these things really realizes it--but the entire notion belittles women as a whole. /rant :)

  13. Nice to meet you by that identity. I can't imagine being anyone other than me. But I put up a poll with some old family names because I would want some connection or history to the name.

  14. @Crystal, female characters end up being quite hard for me to write. I've read so much criticism about them that I just end up worrying as I make notes on their character.

    Veela-valoom, family connections and ancestry do seem to be very popular for a few posts I've read. I think it allows the person to feel like they are still themselves if that makes sense, like Jaime said. They don't feel like a totally different person if one given name stays the same.

  15. Hi Robin :-)
    As you know I understand your need to remain somewhat private (and I used to be a TA so I understand even more now :-))
    I like the penname you chose...quite fitting to the genre you´re writing I think!

  16. Thanks!

    I just wouldn't want to risk angering parents. We do deal with some funny ones at the school so it's best to stay quiet and in hiding with the writing.