What’s In A Pen Name?

The most common question I’ve gotten from friends and family when I tell them that I’m publishing a book is:

Why are you using a pen name?

To be completely honest, it was because in the moment I decided to do it I was being wildly ethical. I work in the book world and, though I don’t think my self-publishing a book would be a problem, (in fact, many of my coworkers know I’m doing it and are rooting me on) I wanted to avoid any sort of issue that might arise in the workplace if I were to use my real name.

So instead of using the name that everyone in real life calls me, I chose a pseudonym: Erin Brown.

The next question I get is: Why ‘Erin Brown’ and not something more, I don’t know, exciting?

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that ‘Erin Brown’ is not an exciting name. But I wanted my pseudonym to be something that meant a lot to me and was as close to me as a pseudonym can be.

Erin is my middle name and Brown is my mom’s maiden name.

For those of you wondering, Erin means “Ireland” and Brown means, well, “Brown.”

That has nothing to do with anything, I just like knowing what names mean. Turns out “Erin Brown” isn’t all that exciting in any way, shape, or form.


It was the first name that came to mind when I decided to use a different name as an author, it isn’t something that makes me laugh because it’s super-fake sounding, and there is a personal connection to it.


So that’s the story of ‘Erin Brown.’


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