How I Chose My Pen Name

My good friend, fellow writer and critique group partner, Maddy Barone, has a great post on her blog on how to choose a pen name. You can access her tips here.

Choosing a pen name was at once the most difficult and easiest thing I ever did. It was difficult because I considered so many before selecting one. However, it got considerably easier when my husband suggested one he thought sounded appropiate. (The one I liked best reminded him of something you might name a dog.)

Now that I've chosen, I really do like my pen name. The initials are the same as my real name, so it's not been difficult to transition in writing circles to being called "MJ." Mary Jean is a little more of a stretch, but it fits my genre. Adams is, of course, a nod to my favorite strong female of the Revolutionary period - Abigail Adams.

The only downside to my pen name is that if you Google it, the top results are obituaries. I can assure you, it's not me. As Mark Twain once said, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."


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