Why KaLyn?

I get asked all the time about my name, KaLyn.

No, I didn’t make it up, my mother did. Back in the 1950’s, women were often named for those found in the Bible. Some venturous mothers dared name their little girls Sue, Linda, Sally, etc.

Mom must have known even then that I’d be different.

She didn’t spell it the way she should have either. According to my grandmother, it should have been Kay Lynn, or possibly even add an “e’ and it would have been Kaye Lynne. Note two separate words.

Nope, Mom made it KaLyn, with a capital “L” right in the middle like the spelling of JoAnn.

When I began romance writing, because there was no reason to use a pen name when I wrote non-fiction, I asked around and chose to become Kate Cooper. It was a simple, memorable name and everyone could spell it correctly, unlike the sir name I took when I married Macho Marine.

But as I pitched my two completed manuscripts, over and over again, I wanted to be remembered. Thirty-plus years of marketing and public relations kicked in, with a little push from my agent, and I decided to remain KaLyn. I’d use Cooper for the reason mentioned above.

The choice of my own name has been on my mind because my friend and beta reader, Vikki Vaught, is in a turmoil about her pen names.

I’ve decided to share my point of view here.

Today, authors often publish under several pen names, with good reason. If you write YA and BDSM, the audiences are different. You really don’t want a young child to search by author name and find a book they shouldn’t be reading. Flip side, your erotic readers probably aren’t going to want to buy a book about the woes of teenage heartbreak. That one is a no-brainer.


Nora Roberts a.k.a. J.D. Robb

Now we step into the area of muddled lines. There’s the situation of cross genre. I point to Nora Roberts, the queen herself. When she first wrote under J.D. Robb, her sales were nowhere near what the publisher anticipated until it was leaked that the two pen names were one in the same person. More recently, look at J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith. Again, her books sky rocketed once it was released that one woman wrote under both names.


Liliana Hart

Wearing my marketing hat now, in my opinion, as long as the heat level is about the same, I believe that authors should use the same name and brand the hell out it. I’ll use one of my favorite authors as an example, Liliana Hart. She has expertly branded that pseudonym and her readers jump sub-genres from contemporary to suspense to sifi and it has garnered her millions of readers worldwide.

In conclusion, I am, and will always remain, KaLyn, since the only thing I write is romantic suspense and contemporary romance and all of it is blazing hot.

Explosive Combination Buy Links

Explosive Combination available now

If you are interested in what I write, I invite you to read Explosive Combination.

And {{happy dancing}} coming December 1, 2014 from Liquid Silver Books is Christmas In Cancun, the first romantic suspense book of the In Cancun series. Watch this blog for my cover reveal.

10 thoughts on “Why KaLyn?

  1. I wondered about your name, KaLyn, and I think, after having read the explanation, your mom’s terrific.

    My macho, paranoid husband wouldn’t let me write under my real name (he does business with homeland security), so my author name is the one I would have named a girl (three sons). It’s so weird, but it happens to be only one letter different from my real name.

    And I totally agree with you about the one name, but that maybe because I hate marketing and I’m lazy in that arena.


    • Thank you Jianne! My Mom is pretty wonderful.

      As a military wife, I understand your husband’s point of view. The military, HSA, FBI and all those government types tend to get a little demanding when it comes to what wives can and cannot do. If you remember an earlier post of mine, the FBI wouldn’t let me go to Colombia. ;(


  2. I had to laugh at how you were named. I have a somewhat similar story.

    My mom was reading a novel set in the South, one of those over-heated and so not politically correct pulp fiction novels of the post-WWII era. You know the ones – the thin paperbacks with a curvy woman on the front with half her clothes ripped off. The name Monette was a last name in the novel — a not atypical French name often found in the South. My mom thought it would be a cool girl’s name – and she wanted to call me “Moni.” That’s “mah’ knee” — she could’ve just called me Moni- but she wanted my middle name to be Elaine – and Monette Elaine sounded so much better than Moni Elaine. So, that is how I got my name.

    So when I began writing, I kept my real first name and used my son’s name Michael to become Monette Michaels. I needed a pen name since I was still practicing law and was an arbitrator. Couldn’t have opposing parties trying to cull favor by telling me they liked my books, now could I?

    When I stated to write sexier books, I took the name of Rae Morgan (there was a valid reason at the time which no longer exists). In hindsight, using another pen name was probably a mistake, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, I just plan to use Monette Michaels since Monette can write sexy, too, and I have name recognition with that name more so than with Rae Morgan.

    Good blog post, KaLyn!


  3. Great post. I also struggled a lot with whether or not to use different pen names. In my case, I write nonfiction metaphysical/personal growth books, as well as paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Ultimately, I’ve found a through-line with my own brand and a crossover that makes it work for me. A few people might pick up one of my leadership books and be surprised to see all the smut on my Amazon Central page, but I’m willing to cope with that.

    As for my name, Shauna Aura is my given first and middle name. My parents were both into the hippie woo-woo. Actually, I was almost named Gabriel, after the archangel, or having Aura as my first name. I took a separate last name as a pen name because my legal last name is fairly meh and it didn’t flow with the first and middle name, not on a book cover anyways.


    • LOL at Hippie Woo woo!!

      I see a theme developing here with mothers who were on the leading edge and gave birth to daughter who became authors.

      Interesting that your non-fiction and fiction are crossing well. Congrats on holding that together. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! We all love to hear from other authors and readers.


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