I’ve always fantasized about having a killer good pen name. My name, Sarah Davis, is incredibly common and therefore has led to all kinds of hijinks. For instance, there was that one time when CVS gave me the medication for another Sarah Davis. Early on, I started writing under the name Sarah S. Davis, and that’s what stuck. But I do entertain notions of what kind of name I’d want to have. I guess that’s why I’m wildly sympathetic to the 10 contemporary authors featured in this article.
Some of these pen names are pretty close to the real name while other are not, and I can only imagine the brainstorming that went behind some of the radically different ones. The truth is, authors use pen names all time, and for good reason. Take Emily Jenkins/E. Lockhart. One of my favorite writers of all time, Lockhart is the pen name of Emily Jenkins. Lockhart publishes YA while Jenkins publishes for children. It’s only natural you’d want to separate out the two so the wires don’t get crossed. And several of the authors highlighted here write romance under a pen name. That makes total sense. You don’t (necessarily) want your YA fans to read your erotica.
In this article, you’ll find 10 authors who publish under more than one name, reflecting a variety of genres and age groups. You might be surprised by some of these pen names and realize you’re already a fan of an author’s work under another name. Or you might already be hip to the pseudonyms. Either way, I hope you find this list fun and informative.
Stacey Abrams/Selena Montgomery
You might know Stacey Abrams from her rise in politics. The Georgia politician is also a prolific writer. Under her own name, Abrams has published multiple books about politics and current events, such as Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America and Lead from the Outside. But Abrams has also published children’s books, like the picture book Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, and the thriller While Justice Sleeps.
Abrams publishes under the pen name Selena Montgomery and, to date, has published multiple romantic suspense novels, like Never Tell.
Zoraida Córdova/Zoey Castille
Zoraida Córdova is known for hard-hitting, emotional novels with a magical twist. One her most popular series is the YA fantasy books Brooklyn Brujas; kicking off with the fun first book, Labyrinth Lost sets in motion the rest of the adventure-packed series. Cordóva has published standalone novels as well, such as the magical-realist The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina.
If you like Cordóva’s fantasy books, check out her romance novels written under the pen name Zoey Catile. Don’t miss the Happy Endings series, which starts with Stripped, and currently stretches to three books long.
Abby Collette/Abby L. Vandiver
Abby Collette’s cozy culinary themed mysteries in the Ice Cream Parlor Mystery books are tons of fun. It’s hard to not feel good from this irresistibly cheery series that stands at three books so far. Start with A Deadly Inside Scoop.
Abby L. Vandiver is Collette’s other name, and she has published several cozy mystery series and a mystery science fiction series as well as a historical fiction novel. Begin with the Logan Dickerson cozy books, which all star the titular heroine, an archaeologist trying to avoid the FBI and finds herself in a charming coastal Georgia town where anything is possible. Kick off the series with Bed & Breakfast Bedlam.
Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham
Women’s fiction fan? You’ve doubtless heard of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, which starts with Confessions of a Shopaholic. These quintessential chick lit books heralded a new genre and remain influential to this day. Prolific author Kinsella has published standalone books, took, like The Undomestic Goddess and I’ve Got Your Number.
Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb
Megan Lindholm hays released a bevy of titles over the years, including The Reindeer People, the first in a fantasy series set in North America during prehistoric times. Blending fantasy with historical fiction, Lindholm’s Reindeer People books are first rate.
But you probably know Megan Lindholm better under her pen name, Robin Hobb. One of the leading fantasy authors, Hobb has published wildly but is perhaps best know for the Farseer Trilogy, which opens with Assassin’s Apprentice, and the Tawny Man series, which starts with Fool’s Errand.
Emily Jenkins/E. Lockart
Emily Jenkins has penned many children’s books, from picture books like A Greyhound, A Groundhog, to chapter book novels like Invisible Inkling. What courses through her books are a sense of humor and a dash of whimsy.
But you might know Emily Jenkins better from her pen name, E. Lockhart, who publishes blockbuster YA novels like We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver books is a fun series you won’t want to miss that kicks off with The Boyfriend List.
Sandhya Menon/Lily Menon
If you’re a YA fan, you’ve doubtless come across Sandhya Menon’s young adult contemporary romance novels like When Dimple Meet Rishi and From Twinkle, with Love. Her romcoms are always fun and swoonworthy.
It should surprise no one, then, that Menon also publishes equally fantastic romance novels for adults under the pen name Lily Menon. Check out The Sizzle Paradox for a taste of Menon’s romantic comedy love stories.
Hillary Monahan/Eva Darrows
Hillary Monahan has published a number of YA horror novels, like Mary: The Summoning, a retelling of the “Bloody Mary” myth. Monahan released a sequel to Mary: The Summoning and multiple anthologized short stories.
Monahan also writes under the pen name Eva Darrows, best known for her funny monster-hunter YA novel The Awesome, which practically explodes with awesomeness.
Monahan is also one half of a writing duo publishing under the pen name Thea de Salle, best known for the NOLA Nights erotica series, which begins with The King of Bourbon Street.
Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant
Fantasy writer Seanan McGuire burst onto the scene with a number of acclaimed books, including Every Heart a Doorway, now considered a modern classic.
McGuire also publishes horror novels under the name Mira Grant, such as Feed, which launches the Newsflesh series, and Parasite, which opens the Parasitology books. Start with Into the Drowning Deep for a creeptastic mermaid story.
V.E. Schwab/Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab has published many YA and middle grade fantasy books, like the Cassidy Blake series, which opens with City of Ghosts, and the Monsters of Verity books, which starts with This Savage Song.
The author also pens fantasy for adults books under the name “V.E. Schwab.” Some of Schwab’s most famous books include the Shades of Magic trilogy, which starts with A Darker Shade of Magic, and standalone novels like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
And that’s it! For more author pen name coverage on Book Riot, check out: