William Cooper talks Pen Names and You ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank William Cooper for taking the time to talk with us today.


Author: William Cooper

Pen Names and You

In our genre, the vast majority of people write under pennames. Some people do it to differentiate their catalogs so that Het readers aren’t trodding through M/M and vice versa. Others just don’t like using their real name. Some of us can have a lot of fallout if people in our personal lives find out what we write.

The majority of what I write is brothers having sex. I live in the middle of the Bible Belt. I could face issues just for writing M/M. If certain people found out I write Twincest or Brocest, I could be in a fuckton of trouble.

I have a very conservative family. I am not out. No one in my family knows what I write. None of them know I write at all. I do NOT want them to find out my pen name. Having my family find out what I write could easily lead to me being kicked out of my home.

A few of you know my real name. Most of you are people I consider close, personal friends. I trust you. I know you won’t go around tagging me in Facebook posts or advertising my real name. I do not trust the entire genre or world to know my real name, because that would just be silly.

If you are one of the lucky people privy to an author’s personal name, whether it’s my name or someone else’s, DO NOT SHARE IT. Unless that author gives you explicit permission to share their name with others, guard that secret with your life. People have lost their jobs because their employers found out about their writing. Others have been disowned by their families. It’s important to authors in these positions not to have to worry about their name being discovered.

With my work as a Personal Assistant and an editor, I have access to the real names of a lot of different authors. I would NEVER disclose those names to anyone. In my contracts, I have a specific clause that forbids me from doing so, just so authors can feel safe.

Because I write under a pen name, I know how important it is to authors to be able to trust the people they do business with.

I trust my clients and friends with my name, and I hope they feel comfortable trusting me with theirs. I am very lucky to have great friends who will always be there for me, even with something simple like keeping my name a secret.

No author should have to worry about losing their job or their family because of what they write. But sadly, the world isn’t perfect and many authors do have those fears. That’s why it’s vital that we protect each other by keeping secrets. We’re a family. We watch each other’s backs.

While things may seem great at safe places like GRL, not all of us live in utopias where we can be open and honest about what we read and write. So please, keep this in mind when you’re talking to other authors, mentioning each other on Facebook, or adding each other to chatrooms or groups. The last thing we need is for one of our friends to have their life turned upside down because someone was careless.

About the Author:

William Cooper has been writing and reading since he was little. In 2010 he took the first step toward publishing a book and hasn’t looked back since. Whether it’s two men who met in college or brothers who have been in love their entire life, William loves to tell their story for everyone to read.

Author Links:

You can find William Cooper online at:
His website: www.WilliamACooper.com
The Smutwriter’s website: http://smutwriters.com/authors/william-a-cooper/
Facebook: Facebook.com/RogueCooper
Tumblr: RogueCooper.Tumblr.com
Twitter: Twitter.com/WilliamACooper


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “William Cooper talks Pen Names and You ~ Guest Blog

  1. That’s a great post although it makes me kinda sad too. It should be par for the course that you don’t reveal people’s names if they want to remain anonymous. It shouldn’t be necessary to point it out. The existence of this post proves that obviously there are people out there who can’t grasp the concept of ‘a secret’. Shame on them and thank you for a very well worded post.

  2. You need to do whatever keeps you safe and allows you to follow your own path. I’m glad you’ve found writing and if having a pen name allows you to do it, then more power to you. Great post, William.

  3. This post makes me sad for all kinds of reasons. Whether an author uses a pen name or not is something very personal and yes, I know authors have been using pen names for political reasons from the start, but it’s so sad it’s still necessary to do so. That’s the thing. The decision to use a pen name, or not, should be a personal choice, not a necessity. What kind of society do we live in where people can’t be proud of seeing their own name on a book they’ve written. There’s no feeling like it, especially when people join the dots

  4. Completely understand, William. I live in the Bible Belt as well. I know. My family inadvertently found out the genre in which I write, but they haven’t discovered my pen name or the work I have out there. I don’t want to think about what might happen if they did. I mean, things like my ex trying to take my kids away and serious stuff like that. So, yes, absolutely respect authors’ pen names. And don’t tell them they shouldn’t “hide” behind them either. Unless you have lived that person’s life, you cannot judge them for their choices.

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