Judy Wheeler, proprietor of Towne Center Books, introduced Camille Minichino, Margaret Grace and Ada Madison. Only Camille smiled at me. The other two hid behind her smile. Next to Camille sat Simon Wood, dual personality, a/k/a Simon Janus. To Simon’s left, a radiant smiling Juliet Blackwell peered over Hailey Lind books. Then Judy spilled whispered Hailey’s true name, Julie Goodson-Laws. Then the showstopper! On the far right is Penny Warner. From Toilet Training (Simon & Schuster) to How to Crash a Killer Bash (Penguin), she’s P‑e‑n‑n-y W‑a‑r‑n‑e‑r. No alias, no a/k/a, no pseudonym, or at least none that she admits.
Why a pen name? When readers become enamored with a flaming red-haired female private detective, a handsome mystery-solver attorney wouldn’t be caught dead sharing that author’s front cover credits. He wants his author to be a fresh nom de plume. I’m searching for a new name to separate fiction from my spiritual and inspirational writings. I’ve lost sight of how my super sleuth will catch the perpetrator while I chase pen names for my mystery series. Suggestions? Skip flower names or anything associated with purple, please. Either would be a dead giveaway.