One thing I used to ponder when I was a kid planning to grow up and be a writer is what my writer name should be like. Should I go for gender-neutral, like “R.E. Emerson”? Publish under my maiden name? Mix it up and go under R. Elizabeth Emerson?

Ultimately, and boringly, I decided to go with my regular name–it felt less complicated (and I never published much before I was married anyway).

Though sometimes I look at all the other Emersons and sigh a bit, thinking how unfortunately ugly my poems must look if they were shelved next to the very-good-looking Claudia Emerson or Ralph Waldo Emerson poems. At least my last name isn’t “Wright,” right?

If I could go back, I would write under “R. Emerson” (because of E. Nesbit, one of my favorite authors; and because if you want to write middle-grade fiction, it can make boys / boy-moms avoid your books if they know you are female). In fact, if I am lucky enough to publish another novel, I will likely publish it under “R. Emerson” for that reason.

Yesterday, via instagram, I met another Renee Emerson, and she also:
– Writes about books
– homeschools
– is a Christian
– has 5 children
– the oldest 4 are girls, the youngest is a boy

(If you are here looking for a Renee Emerson, I’m the poetry writing one, she’s the book club / review writing one.)

I am pretty excited about the content she offers–you can check out her site here Blossoming Through Books for some free book club guides for women and girls.

I’m planning on putting together a book club using one of her guides for my oldest two daughters and their friends this summer.

Have you met any dopplegangers lately? Is your name an unfortunate one to publish under? AND what are your thoughts on writers who write under initials for first names, like A.E. Stallings, C.S. Lewis, E.B. White?

2 responses to “dopplegangers”

  1. We actually read more middle-grade novels by female authors than male authors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read this interview with Shannon Hale about how she would go to do readings at schools and teachers would literally tell the boys they didn’t have to listen because Hale was a “girl author” that wrote for girls?!?!



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