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The Benefit of a Good Pseudonym

July 22, 2012

I read a book review in the Irish Times earlier in the year. What struck me wasn’t the title of the book – it has already been used for a book, a film and, of course, a mountain range.

What struck me was the fact that reviewers were talking about the ‘astonishing’ debut novel by a writer named I J Kay – ‘about whom little is known’.

Now, I’m a curious creature and, at this stage of my life, a tad cynical. I began to wonder who  I J Kay, or IJK, is. And if this is a debut novel.  Is there really a writer out there called IJ Kay?

This is what the agency (United Agents) posted:   IJ.Kay was born in Suffolk in 1961.  She lives in Bristol and in The Gambia, West Africa, but favours a boat on which she writes and travels the waterways of England.  In 2006 she took an MA (Creative Writing) with distinction from Bath Spa University. MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, which will be published by Jonathan Cape on the 2nd of Feburary 2012, is her debut novel.  She is currently working on a second novel, provisionally called THE STAYING OF CHRISTIE CRAWFORD.

Anyone else got any ideas?

AND – if you could use a pseudonym, what would it be? [Nothing too obscene, thanks.]

I’ve already chosen mine. Ah, but that would be telling!

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  1. It all seems a bit cloak and dagger. Maybe the writer is already famous for something else. Poetry? Non-fiction? Acting? But I.J. Kay? It’s a bit clever.
    My pseudonym would be something pronouncable 😉 Anne Black – surely no one could mispronounce that?!?!

    • My grandmother’s family names are my faves at the moment: Fitzell Collier. I think it would great for crime novels. Or if I’d lived in the early 19th century!

      • FItzell Collier – I love it, very posh indeed. Aphrodite Blue would work for racy romance or some such.
        I like my granny-in-law’s maiden name very much: Alice Barker. Maybe I should tag on a C: Alice Barker Cee so I can be ABC?!?

  2. Perfick! If IJK can do it, so can you! 🙂

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