An Author by Any Other Name …

Have you ever read a book that you’ve really enjoyed, by a new author, only to discover that the author is actually one you know and love, writing under another name? Being an author myself, you’d think I wouldn’t often be caught out – and I’m not usually. But I was this week!

1168593darkness-brings-200 I can’t remember who suggested that I read Candice Proctor’s historicals, set in Australia – I think it was either Anna Campbell or Christina Brooke – but  I do remember that they were recommended because I enjoy western historicals and found the concept of romances set in Australia’s past a fascinating one. Anyway, I managed to get hold of one – Candice’s debut – A Night in Eden, and recently had a chance to read it. I loved it! Naturally, I decided to find the rest of her books and hopped onto the internet. That’s when I realised that Candice Proctor is none other than CS Harris! Now, I knew she wrote thrillers with her husband, under the name CS Graham (which I also really like), but hadn’t made the other connection! I’m sure most of you are laughing along with me, because you did know!

2979954415560A similar thing happened some years ago, coincidentally regarding an author of western historicals. I loved an author called Kathleen Kane and had many of her books on my keeper shelf. As western historicals were few and far between, I decided to see if I could hunt down any other books by Kathleen Kane. I was a little confused when I couldn’t find anything about her and I kept being sent to another author’s website. In fact, it was an author who is well-known and well-loved here in the Lair – Maureen Child. It was only when I pulled one of Kathleen Kane’s books off the shelf and looked at the author picture that I realised she was Maureen Child!

n114288Mark_Callahan_thumb The third author was also a western historicals author (are you spotting a pattern here?) called Geralyn Dawson. I loved her books and was so disappointed when she stopped writing them, in the middle of a series. Every now and again, I’d do a search to see if she’d published those other two books, but nothing came up. Until recently, when I realised that she now wrote under the name Emily March! And, no – she never did finish the series.

519+m8mDFVL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_naked-in-death1 We all know about Nora and her JD Robb alter ego. And another Lair favourite, Jessica Andersen and her Jesse Hayworth alter ego.






NightkeepersJesse-Home~~element77Have you ever been caught out by an author writing under two different names? Are there any other authors you know who write under another name? Do you prefer an author to write different types of books under different names, or don’t you mind? For those authors, do you read everything they write or only in the genres that you prefer to read? Are you prepared to give a genre you’re not fond of a try, if a favourite author writes for it?   


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  • Jane says:

    Hello Anna,
    Did you catch last night’s game? I normally know about an author’s pseudonyms from checking out their sites. Only once was I surprised to learn about the different names and it was JR Ward. I read her paranormals and then I picked up a few contemporary romances written by Jessica Bird and I didn’t realize it was the same author until later. Seems like one of Jessica Bird’s Silhouette series was never finished, too.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Jane! Sadly, it was on too late for me to watch – but it looked like a good game. Congrats on your win. At least we got a point too!

      Oh yes, I’d forgotten about JR Ward and Jessica Bird! I only discovered that one recently! I don’t read JR Ward, but I have her Jessica Bird’s on my shelf!

    • Cassondra says:

      Jane, have you promised that bird some kind of help with his acting career? I know you’re in New York. He’s obviously wanting something from you. Perhaps you have connections on Broadway and he’s found out about this?

  • Lucy says:

    Hi Anna,

    My favourite author who wrote under different pseudonyms is Eleanor Hibbert.

    She wrote a number of different literary genres and each genre was under a different pen name: Jean Plaidy for fictionalized history of European royalty; Victoria Holt for gothic romances, and Philippa Carr for a multi-generational family saga.

    I can still remember reading Menfreya (Victoria Holt) for the first time!

    My mother had all of the books in the three genres (and authors!) and when she down sized her house, I was able to bring home a number of them for myself.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Lucy! I didn’t know about Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr for the longest time – in fact, I think Anna Campbell told me that one! Perhaps I live under a rock LOL!

      How lovely that you got such a fabulous book collection. I wish I still had all mine – those and my Anya Seton’s!

  • flchen1 says:

    Oh yes, Anna!

    There are loads of authors who write using more than one name, usually to differentiate between genres…

    Lori Foster wrote some paranormals using LL Foster; Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Taylor/Jayne Bentley/Stephanie James/Amanda Glass; Bella Andre/Lucy Kevin; Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley McGregor; Ann Rice/AN Roquelaure…

    I can go either way–if an author uses a penname, I prefer it to be open and out there–I don’t think it needs to be a secret. It’s convenient to know what genre I’m getting into with each pseudonym. And typically I’m happy to give it all a try–usually I find that whatever quality it is about their writing I like, will carry over no matter the genre.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Fedora! Yes, there are quite a few and I know they often do it to distinguish genres. In the old days, I know it was because there were publishing limits eg one book a year. So, for example, Robert Ludlum also published under Jonathon Ryder.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with whatever it is about an author’s writing that captures you as a reader being able to pull you across genres.

  • Helen says:


    I know of most of these but not all of them I am happy to read all genres from an author and not really worried if they change their name although I do like to know that they write under different names. I have just got home from work and I can’t think of any that have not already been mentioned at the moment but I am sure there are a lot

    Have Fun

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Helen! I think these days we like to know, but in the past publishers were funny about letting on who the authors really were. I’d like to know too – then I can make up my own mind!

  • Shannon says:

    Susan King for historical romance and Susan Fraser King for straight historical.

    I am a fan of G. A. Aiken (dragon shifting romances with R-rating; very mild bondage). She also writes as Shelly Laurenston (paranormal-X rating).

    I’d forgotten Victoria Holt’s multiple identities, but I know once I knew I glommed on to everything.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      That’s interesting, Shannon – I do know a number of authors who write their erotica under a different name, for both personal reasons and so they don’t offend readers of their more mainstream work.

      It’s a nice treat to discover an alter ego and have all those extra books to read that you know you’ll like!

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I believe Sandra Brown wrote under the name Erin Ryan for Loveswept. Lori Foster writes paranormal under L. L. Foster. Back when I first started reading, if an author wrote both historical and contemporary then they used two different names so as not to get them confused. Or if they were writing for more than one publisher they had to use two.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Is that right, Debbie? I didn’t know that about Sandra Brown. I knew she wrote category romance, before her single titles, but I didn’t know it was under another name.

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    Sometimes I am surprised when I realize a mainstream type author has also written under another name, and sometimes like with Stephen King/Richard Bachman it was just too obvious to matter what name was on the book.

    There are many authors I enjoy who write several series under different names. I usually enjoy the style of anything I author I like writes so like it when I can go somewhere to find all the cross references – just means more series for me and more books to add to my TBR!

    • Anna Sugden says:

      I’m with you, Sally, but I know there have been problems for some authors. Like Tess Gerritsen, who ran into a vitriolic reader who hated her category romantic suspenses (Tess originally wrote for Intrigue and Harlequin repackaged and rereleased them) and started a hate campaign about it!

      • Sally Schmidt says:

        Unbelievable that a reader would start a hate campaign – Annie Wilkes from Misery come to life. If I don’t like it I just won’t read it, and I am so happy that authors do such hard work to provide books I enjoy.

  • Laurie G says:

    Jessica Peterson =Jess Michaels
    Suzanna Carr= Jenesi Ash
    Candace Camp = Lisa Gregory, Kristin James
    Joan Hohl = Amii Lorin,
    Diana Palmer- Diana Blayne &Susan Kyle
    Julie Garwood = Emily Chase
    Madeline Baker = Amanda Ashley
    Sharon Sala = Dinah McCall
    Patricia Maxwell = Jennifer Blake

    I prefer authors to use one name. If I like an author I will try other genres.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Ooh that’s a good list, Laurie! I knew some of them, but not all eg Joan Hohl.

      There’s also Eileen Naumann/Lindsay McKenna and Amanda Stevens/Lisa Gardner

  • Laine says:

    The All About Romance website has a whole page of them.
    Web address is

  • Hi Anna – fun topic!

    Actually, I have one book published under the name Donna Richards. I used the pen name to separate my Romantic Suspense from my Historicals – but back then, a writer used two names to assist the bookseller who needed to know how to shelve the books. Plus there was a concern that someone who loved my historicals might pick up the contemporary suspense if my name was on it – and be disappointed (although they should recognize that the cover is way different).

    Now with the rise of the ebook, there’s no need to worry about how to shelve a book, so no need to create different names.

    That said – when I was studying debuts with a group of historical novels, it really annoyed us when we read a book we thought was by a debut author – only to find it was written by a published author under a different name. I understand why that’s done (debuts have power), but it was annoying to those of us struggling to get a contract.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      I’d forgotten about your RS, Donna. You raise a good point about shelving for different genres. I still think if genres are very different that authors may still need to think about a different name. But then they can be open about the different name.

      Oh yes – that ‘debut’ business used to frustrate me with contemporary romances too!

  • Carol Cork says:

    Anna, I read two books, Wicked Little Game and Sweetest Little Sin , by Christina Wells some years ago. I didn’t realise until recently that Christina Wells and Christina Brooke are the same person!

  • Lovely blog, Anna ! I see the GR landed with Jane again. They are becoming quite an item under any name!

    Yes, La Divina Campbell turned me on to the C.S. Harris novels and I was surprised to discover C.S. Harris was Candice Proctor.

    Mary Jo Putney writes a wonderful YA time travel series under the name M. J. Putney.

    Stephen King has written books under a couple of names, but I will read anything that man writes!

    Cara Elliot also writes under the name Andrea Pickens and I love all of her books!

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Louisa! Ah yes, Anna definitely turned me on to CS Harris in the first place!

      It’s interesting that there are a number of romance authors whose YA name is different. I suppose because you don’t want confusion with younger readers and steamy romance!

  • Cassondra says:

    Anna, what an interesting post!

    I remember years ago, trying valiantly to find more books by an author named Ruth Wind. I’d read her Silhouette Intimate Moments books, and fell in love with them. I wanted more, and she just sort of went away.
    Then I saw Barbara Samuel at a book festival as the keynote speaker, and when I went up to her table afterward, there was Ruth Wind! I was blown away.
    I wasn’t nearly as “industry savvy” then and didn’t realize how common it was for writers to use pseudonyms.
    I think it’s nice to know who’s writing the books, but I do understand completely why some writers wish to keep their pseudonyms separate. There are a lot of jobs (school teacher, minister, etc) that just would not mesh with an erotica or BDSM writing career. Unfortunate, but true.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      I used to love Ruth Wind and Barbara Samuel – I didn’t realise they were the same person! (I still mourn Intimate Moments – that used to be my favourite line!)

      LOL you’re so right. I also know someone who writes both Inspirational and hot romance, so it’s necessary to keep those identities separate!

  • Kaelee says:

    I loved Marion Chesney’s Regency Romances. To my surprise I found out that she is also M. C. Beaton and has written under 5 other names as well. She got tired of writing Regencies and switchedt to mysteries. She’s a great author no matter what name she writes under.

    • Kaelee says:

      I love these two web sites for general information. Fantastic Fiction and FictionDB

      • Anna Sugden says:

        Fantastic Fiction is an amazing resource, Kaelee. I use it all the time to catch up on books in a series or to find out what an author has written!

        I’m in awe of prolific authors who write under so many different names! I can’t write fast enough under my own!

  • catslady says:

    I am horrible at remembering names but I do wish I knew all the different names. Usually I will follow an author into a different genre if I’ve found that I enjoy her voice! I’m sure I’ve read some and not even realized it. Nora Roberts I do know lol.