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John Howard Reid

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Blogs by John Howard Reid

Naming Names
12/13/2009 6:25:52 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Why use a pen name at all? I'm often asked this question. In some cases, the writer has no choice. In rare cases, he may be exposing some political scandal or cover-up, but generally the reasons are far more mundane: (1) Your publisher feels you have written too many books or that your real name has become so identified with a particular genre that purchasers would be annoyed to discover that your latest novel was a nice romantic tale rather than an edge-of-the-seat whodunit. (2) You are a well-known figure in the writing community or the book industry itself, and are moonlighting from your usual publisher. (3) You are a politician or hold some other prominent position and don't wish your constituents or many acquaintances to find out that you are also a writer. (4) You are an elder or deacon in any church (except Roman Catholic or Orthodox) where writing anything other than debilitating hymns is regarded as one of the black arts. (5) You wish to impart a sense of realism to your novel by writing in the first person and using the name of such a person as the author. (6) You actually adhere to both a for and against position on some controversial social issues and feel that both points of view should be ventilated in print. Unless you are directed to write a balanced editorial, you cannot usually promote opposing views under the same by-line. (7) You hate being in the glare of a public spotlight or you have friends and acquaintances who would shun your company if they knew you were a writer. So why did I publish many of the poems that are now collected in my anthology, "Escape to Paradise and Other Poetic Fancies" under the name, Tom Howard,and why am I persisting in using this pseudonym for the above anthology? Well, my middle name is actually Thomas Howard. John Thomas Howard Reid it is in full. I was forced to use "Tom Howard" as a pseudonym for my published poems while I was in the army, and I then had to continue using this by-line when I was freed because I'd built up a reputation as Tom Howard and I'd no intention whatever of starting again at the bottom of the heap.

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More Blogs by John Howard Reid
• Names and Titles, Questions Answered - Thursday, November 10, 2011
• Win (Vincere) the 2009 movie - Saturday, September 17, 2011
• New Light on Movie Bests - Sunday, August 21, 2011
• Which cover do you prefer? - Friday, July 29, 2011
• Poetry News - Friday, July 08, 2011
• 6 Books in Top 18 Bestsellers at Amazon Kindle Today! - Saturday, October 30, 2010
• Movies Magnificent Hits the Number One Spot at Amazon's Kindle Store - Saturday, October 02, 2010
• Bestseller Number One in Performing Arts! - Thursday, September 23, 2010
• Popular Pictures of the Hollywood 1940s - Saturday, September 11, 2010
• Who Says Poetry Is Dead? - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• "B" Movies, Bad Movies, Good Movies in Top Ten - Sunday, August 22, 2010
• 10 Books in Top 50 at Amazon Kindle Today! - Sunday, August 15, 2010
• On with the Merryll Manning motley! - Thursday, July 22, 2010
• Revising "Merryll Manning On the Rim of Heaven" - Thursday, July 08, 2010
• Merryll Manning Halfway - Saturday, February 20, 2010
• Almost Time for Another Newsletter - Saturday, January 30, 2010
• Always happy to receive encouraging reviews - Tuesday, January 19, 2010
• Progress Report: A Salute to Spanish Poetry 100 Masterpieces from Spain and Latin America - Tuesday, January 12, 2010
• A Salute to Spanish Poetry: 100 Masterpieces from Spain & Latin America - Monday, January 04, 2010
• What To Write Next - Monday, December 28, 2009
• Poetry for Poets - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• What Makes a Successful Poet? - Wednesday, December 16, 2009
•  Naming Names - Sunday, December 13, 2009  
• Margaret Havill Reid Poetry - Wednesday, December 09, 2009
• What Do Editors Do? - Sunday, December 06, 2009
• Love & City Dreaming - Friday, December 04, 2009
• MARK and JOHN - Thursday, November 26, 2009
• Psalms - Monday, November 23, 2009
• Classic Movie Posters - Thursday, November 12, 2009
• Poetry Contest Closes for 2009 - Sunday, October 04, 2009
• Weird Book-Buying - Sunday, August 02, 2009
• Traditional Verse? - Saturday, June 13, 2009
• Red Pencils at the Ready! - Wednesday, June 10, 2009
• Solomon's Song of Songs and Proverbs - Saturday, March 21, 2009
• Merryll Manning writing times - Friday, November 21, 2008
• Contests and Competitions - Wednesday, November 12, 2008
• A Frantic Week! - Sunday, November 09, 2008
• Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• Works in Progress - Friday, February 29, 2008

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