What's in a PEN name?

I love my name... There I said it.

So why wouldn't I use it for my pen name?
I love to hear stories of how and why people got their names. Most of the time there is a story within the story. Some are named after relatives that meant a lot to the family (or the parent who got to pick out the name), some were named after the hero who helped birth them en route to the hospital, some were named so just because it sounded good, some named for a special day and so many more reasons than I could possibly list here.

Me? Well, I was originally Magdeline Lucille (Mom wanted to call me Maggie Lou - and she does on occasion - lucky me!). BTW, those are the names of my paternal and maternal grandmothers. I was born prematurely on Christmas; my due date was close to Valentine’s Day, so yeah, I kinda confused the holidays.

So where did the Natalie part come in?
I have a receipt in my scrapbooking box somewhere that shows my parents changed my name while I was still an infant and they had to pay a whopping $2.00 to do so. Natalie, Natalina, Natalia... there are many varieties and most are a name given to a girl born on or near Christmas. So that makes me a Christmas Star :) Hence the new name my parents gave me; Natalie Star.
I would love to hear how you got your name!

Name's are important to me while writing stories. Maybe because my name has a story. I don't know. What I do know, is when I put a character together in my head, I need a name that means something. Once I get the character's personality, characteristics and voice down I do my research on baby name websites and go from there.

My most resent character was born on New Years and so a search for names on "New Years babies" yielded the name Calendula. At first I was like, no. Then it grew on me. Now I can't see her with any other name.

Writer's how do you name your characters? or how did you get your pen name? if you don't write how did you get your name?

I would love to hear!


Art work by: lucblup on deviantart.com.


  1. Great story about your name Natalie. My mom had wanted to name me Natalie or Natasha but she decided on Stefanie. My pen name is a slightly heavy story. Since I write YA about werewolves and Stephenie Meyer does too, I decided to not use my given name. Many years ago, I had a son that passed away - his name was Devon. I'd never thought about using his name until I read a book by Carrie Jones and Devyn was a character. I liked it so much and felt that it would be a great name to use. In the beginning it was awkward but I'm finally getting the hang of it. If I write non-YA I will probably use my real name.


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