When Good Pen Names Go Bad

Or more to the point, why the hell did I put two Xs in mine?

It’s my week at IH. I probably should warn those of you who don’t know me, I am a little odd, more than a little disturbing and a whole lot weird. To this end, this week’s probably going to be….strange for you all. But fun too. I promise. Fun like sucking hot coffee through Tim Tams fun. Not fun like having your brother tickle you until you pee fun…. Err, see what I mean? Odd, disturbing and weird. *sigh* I betcha I’ve frightened most of you away already, haven’t I? *double sigh*

Well, for those of you still with me, let’s begin.

I think it’s a given that most of us erotic authors don’t write under our real names. There’s a reason for this. It could be our real name is too boring (can you imagine reading a so-hot-it-melts-anything-it-touches menage tale by someone called Mable White? Or Doreen Jones? Betrice Smith?), but the chances are the reason for the nom de plume has something to do with a need to keep our other self, shall I call it, hidden. That’s when we creative types come up with a pen name.

There are a million ways to create an awesome pen name: use the first letters of your children’s names; the name of your pet, favourite city/state/colour (Sandy Quebec-Green, anyone?); name your writing alter-ego after the name you always wished your parents had named you (Hunter Savage. How cool would that name be?! Hunter Savage); take a naughty word or two and spell them in such a way they look like names (Fanni Bottym, maybe?); go all out and just use naughty words without any subtefuge (Pussy Vagina. Okay, maybe not *grin*); pick a name similar to your own so you don’t look like a doofus when you fail to respond to it at conventions (Elizabeth/Beth, Alana/Lana, Christina/Tina…well, you get the idea); or be totally creative and come up with something utterly unique and (in your mind) totally clever.

I fall into the last category. And don’t I wish I’d been less clever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the name Lexxie Couper. I am Lexxie Couper and trust me, the name suit me. Lexxie Couper is a bit of a flirt (like me), a bit risque (like me) and very much a proud Aussie (like me). Lexxie however, is far more saracstic than I am, defintely more obsessed with Tim Tams and has no shame to speak of (and yes, I see how weird this reads, trust me, but hey, Lexxie Couper is far more weird than me, too *grin*). No, I love Lexxie and never regret her. What I regret, is the double X in Lexxie/my name.

Double Xs, I have found, are problematic. They draw conclusions in peoples’ mind. They are hard to sign with a flourish. They look like a typo. Double Xs also freak the hell out of Yahoo. I cannot create a yahoo group with my full name. I can’t create a link to my website from a yahoo group. Yahoo, apparently, has decided that double Xs are evil, satanic things only to be associated with depravity and socially-abhorrent miscreants. (There are some who would say Lexxie Couper is a depraved, socially-abhorrent miscreant. To those people I blow you a raspberry *bthhhhrurt*).

Double Xs also seem to be favoured by other sites less…how shall I say this? Less subtle than my own. Sites with wonderfully descriptive titles such as wannawatch.com and twilightsex.com (note: twilightsex has nothing to do with Edward and Bella and Jacob. Trust me. I’m sure there’s a site out there somewhere that does cater to those longing for a little Edward/Bella/Jacob action, or Jacob/Edward/Bella action, but twilightsex isn’t it). These sites not only like double Xs, they like triple Xs. And they also like to generate spam. Lots of spam. And this is where my pen name, a name I laboured with love for many many hours to create, has gone bad (to read how I came up with my pen name, check out Jess Dee’s blog. *grin*).

I get spam from myself all the time. Most of the time, I ignore it. Some of the time I laugh about it. Who wouldn’t laugh at an email titled Sexy Mature Ammature Housewife Teaches Plumber To Suck? Or German MILF Makes Weiner Humungous? Or Turn Your Pecker Into A Barge Pole? Or Too Lazy To Get It Up? Miracle Blue Pill Cheap!! (note the double exclamation point) Or my personal favourite which I’ve received from myself at least ten times in the last two weeks: Buy Harvard Degree. F*ck Sexy Harvard Professors. (Does that come with extra credit, do you think?)

Sometimes however, I can’t laugh anymore. These times I rant and rave – especially when a totally innocent email I’ve sent to someone (possibly about kittens and butterflies and the smell of fresh rain on rich soil) bounces back to me because some overly zealous filter somewhere decided my email was spam. These times, I curse my pen name. Curse it.

“Why, Lexxie?” I cry at the heavens (well, the ceiling. It’s not often I find myself crying with frustration at the spam dilemma outside). “Why couldn’t you have been LeXie? It still looks good. It still sounds the same. Why did you have to go and be LeXXie?”

I find myself worrying about the million of email users out there in cyber world. I picture them looking at their inboxes and thinking, oh for Pete’s sake. More spam from this lexxie @lexxiecouper. com? Damn, I wish she’d just bugger off. I see millions of people wishing they could track this lexxie down and beat her senseless with their spam-inundated computers and laptops and iPads, just to teach her a lesson. I imagine serious, important people I send serious, important emails to, looking at my email address and going, uh-uh, no way I’m opening that. Not from HER.

And then I see myself standing at a grave, looking down at a headstone with Lexxie Couper chiseled into the marble, along with the words, “She Spammed A Lot Of People.”

When this happens, I wonder what it would be like to have a pen name far less troublesome (I’ve even created one, just in case the day really does come when I can’t take it anymore), far less….Lexxie-ish. Far less…bad.

And then someone will send me an email, call me Lexxie without any malice or trepidation and I realise, you know what, I really really do love Lexxie Couper. It suits me. And when that happens, I grab a pen and start signing my name.

L…e…x…x…i…e…

Yes, I am a little weird, and my pen name is a lot troublesome, but it’s mine. And let’s face it, about a million email users the world over probably know it by now πŸ™‚

So tell me, if you had to create a pen name, what would it be? Why?

And just for some fun, what’s the most hilarious subject for spam you’ve received?

PS – there’s no reason what’s so ever for the images on this page apart from the fact they are bloody gorgeous. For more, do have a look here

(Just like Rhain did last week, I’m going to give away a prize at the end of my week; a signed copy of any one of my print books – winner’s choice PLUS a little Aussie treat to indulge your senses and skin. The more times you comment, the more times you’re in with a chance. Yay.)

Be sure to check out the websites of each International Heat authors (links over there –>) to read excerpts from Lexxie’s work….and there may even be an interview floating around!

48 Responses to “When Good Pen Names Go Bad”

  1. Hey Lexxie,

    You are hilarious!! You have a twisted sense of humor . . . I love it!! I happen to like your pen name. It really sets you apart – I typed out “Lexie” and it looks nice but not quite the same.

    Now if I had to create a pen name? Hmmm technically I already have a pen name I created at JR where I review. It’d would be a toss up between that pen because I like it so much and Nadai just because its a variation of my best friend’s name. As far as a last name? I have no idea. LOL!!

  2. I love your pen name! I know it’s a pain – those damn double Xs, but it’s you. Stick with it! πŸ˜€

  3. Hey Lexxie,
    I love your pen name…it sounds just right. *grin*

    I actually came up with my pen name a couple of weeks ago for another blog event…I decided to stick close to my real first name – just modified the spelling to how my Mum spells it…”Ana Renaisse” I chose the last part as a homage to the Renaissance – my fave historical time period.

    As for a really funny spam email…well it’s always such a thrill to open my email and see ads for penis enlargement *grin*

    • Ana Renaisse is beautiful. Truly beautiful. (And don’t you just love the spam telling you how to get a bigger penis. I never receive any telling me how to get bigger boobs though. Wonder why?)

      • You think all the guyz are maybe getting the ads for boob enlargements? you know perhaps it’s like reverse advertising…idea is to get the partner get it for their mate

  4. Great entry–full of useful information; very serious & droll. πŸ™‚ Okay, it’s just too funny to visualize all the smut you must get. I do love the penis enlargement invites. Are we supposed to forward them to those guys who obviously need it? Just askin’.

    • LMAO Oh, I could soooo foward some of those emails to some of my exes. Well, one of my exex in particular. Unfortunately, he has some dirt on my I’d rather he keep to himself and I think if I gave him a hard time about his small “hard time” he might blab πŸ™‚

  5. I love your pen name and I love Lexxie — the double X’s just give you an air of mystery πŸ˜‰ lol

  6. Uh, I know all about good pen names going bad.
    I was Jessica Dee when I wrote my first two books. I was published as Jessica Dee as well.
    I only thought to Google Jessica Dee after I’d signed my contracts.

    Know who Jessica Dee is?
    A porn star, diagnosed with HIV, who specializes in double anal penetration.

    ARRRRGHHHHHH

    :O

    Fortunately, I like the name Jess waaaaay more than I like the name Jessica.

  7. ROFL! Lexxie, I’m sorry for all the grief your pen name has given you, but you must admit that it does make for great stories πŸ˜‰

    I’m not sure what I’d choose for a pen name–I’d want something that suggests I’m way cooler, smarter, more worldly, funny, and sexier than I am πŸ˜‰ Tall order for a name!

    Most hilarious topic for spam? Aside from all the offers to enhance parts of my person that I don’t actually have, I just got an e-mail that promises me the Freedom to Smoke! Plus, another says that I was Born to Be Rich! I imagine I’d better respond promptly!!

    Thanks for the gorgeous views, btw!

    • I love the name Fedora – mostly because I love the hat πŸ™‚

      • How kind you are, Tez! At least when I say, “like the hat,” the light goes on for some segment of the population. Otherwise, I always have to spell my name for people multiple times. “No, with an ‘F,’… no, not ‘Flora’…”

    • Your welcome. I must admit it was a real hardship looking at image after image after image after image after image after image after image…

      ….wait, what was I saying?

      πŸ˜‰

  8. Maria D. Says:

    I get alot of spam from a site claiming to be the adult “Facebook” only they use a different word in front…do use the F and the C though..:(

    I actually do have a good pen name in mind if I was ever to use it…and I have googled it to make sure nothing strange came up πŸ™‚

  9. yeah your a bit odd and different but keep up the fantastic writing. And if I used the old first pet and street name mine would be lady oak lol.

  10. dreabecraft Says:

    L…E…X…X…I…E

    I happen to like you pen name. Just like you being an odd ball it suits you.

    But hey go by a close but not diffrent name all the time. Only because I freaking hat my name and it sounds better this way.

  11. I like your pen name. I definitely remember it and not for bas reasons either. LOL

    Okay so I have a pen name for my aspiring writer self. That Brae up there is part of it. The full name is Brae Elliot. It breaks down pretty easy in my head.

    Br – 1st 2 letters of first namer
    ae – Last 2 letters of middle name
    Elliot – Hubby’s middle name

    So much cooler than Brandy Walker. At least I think so.

    • I must admit, I have a thing for first names as last names. Not sure why, but there’s something very sexy about it πŸ™‚

      (William is my hubby’s middle name. Lexxie William? Hmmm)

  12. Ah, you like X, and I like Z. Does that make us weird? Probably just makes us bogans πŸ˜‰ http://thingsboganslike.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/72-x/

    I, too, sometimes indulge in the double. If I’m feeling cutesy, I refer to myself as Tezzy. Besides, Tez Miller already IS my pen name, and suits me much more than my real name.

    But if I were to be more extravagant…if anyone wants to co-write something with me, we should name ourselves…Zela Vuvu πŸ˜‰

    • *snort*
      LMAO @ Zela Vuvu!

    • Oh, man, Tez, I’ve become hocked on the blog site since you posted a link to it ages ago on Twitter (I think). Love it!

      And yeah, what RC says, Zela Vuvu is an awesome name. Awesome. I definitely want to see that in or on a book sometime real soon.

  13. Courtney S Says:

    I feel your pain on the name thing, Lexxie. EVERYONE seems to have a hard time spelling my name. They either want to add letters, or subtract letters, or just change the letters altogether (My supervisor @ work thought it was spelled with a Kh…lol).

    • Courtney, your name is spelled perfectly, in my humble opinion. It’s everyone else who’s wrong – particularly your supervisor πŸ˜‰

    • Princess and the Pea agrees with Tez, this is THE best name. lol

    • I don’t know whether we should blame JR Ward for the need to add Hs to names. I’ve seen some amazing spellings of names with superfluous Hs. That latest was Erica, spelt Ericha. I wanted to say Eric-CHA CHA CHA (but I fear I may have been slapped quite hard if I did *wink*)

  14. Well, I picked Mari Carr as my pen name because my real name is too freaking long to fit on a cover of a book. No lie! Plus I like how quickly I can sign Mari Carr. Problem is I sort of thought Mari was an easy name, right? How simple is Mari? No one knows how to say it. My intention was to be Mary/Merry, but folks call me Mahree, which I must confess sounds more exotic and goes better with Carr. So, I answer to both! And truth be told, I like Mahree better.

    Awesome post. Now stop SPAMMING me! JK!

  15. Tracey D Says:

    I enjoyed the post. What a great way to start a Sunday!

    Oh and the photos aren’t bad, either! πŸ˜‰

  16. Nancy Gilliland Says:

    I’m glad you use two XX’s in your pen name-that’s how I know it is you and not the other author(s) using a form of it. Still trying to come up with a pen name in case the missive that is in the works ever gets finished, because I absolutely hate my name. Nobody can correctly pronounce the last name, and the first name is just plain boring.

    • Noo. Nancy is an adventure. She solves puzzling crimes and doesn’t let society tell her she can’t just cause she’s a girl. I love the name Nancy. Not boring at all.

  17. My pen name is my great, great grandmother’s name. If I used my first pet’s name and the first street I ever lived in I’d be Pussy Blaxland. More a porn star than an erotic romance writer I think. I have a heroine in one of my wips named Lexie. Maybe I’ll add a x.

  18. Lindsey Ekland Says:

    I remember LEXX and thinking WTF when trying to watch since it was a couple of episodes past the pilot. I will have to Google the title to see if the official website is still active. Delightfully weird, wonderful and somewhat bizarre so I am not surprised it served as an inspiration for your name.

  19. Beth C. Says:

    Love the post. And at least your name is unique in some way. Never really thought about a pen name for myself before, but have now. I think, if and when I ever need one, it will be Amber Craft. Amber is mother’s maiden name and I am a crafter as well as a reader and wanna be writer.
    As for the spam, I guess I’m lucky. Don’t get any at one email addie and the other mainly gets ‘lotto winner’ or ‘inheritance’ type spam, and usually only one or two a day.

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