When I published the first book under Anna J. McIntyre, Lessons (now Coulson’s Lessons),  people asked me why I was using a pen name.

I don’t think I was ever truly honest with them—or myself—as to why I decided to write under a nom de plume. But now, almost seven years later, I think I have a better understanding as to why I actually made that decision.  I was afraid.

It’s a little scary putting yourself out there.  Back then I didn’t have the benefit of beta readers telling me they enjoyed or hated the book. To be honest, only a couple people had ever read Lessons before I hit the publish button, and they were close family members who probably weren’t the most objective readers.

Of course, back then I told people I wanted to keep books written by Anna J. McIntyre separate from the non-fiction I had written under my own name—which were only a couple books with limited appeal.

I don’t have any regrets about writing my Anna J. McIntyre books under a pseudonym.  However, I do regret choosing THAT pen name.

How did I come up with Anna J. McIntyre? It was simple really, Anna for my middle name, Ann—J for my maiden name Johnson—and McIntyre, a surname from my family tree.

Before finalizing the pseudonym, I checked Amazon, to make sure there were no other authors with that name. There weren’t. Unfortunately, I failed to Google “Anna J. McIntyre.” Had I done that, I would have discovered an artist by that name.  It was a novice mistake on my part, and one I didn’t discover until long after I started writing under the pseudonym.

I have always felt guilty for hijacking Anna J. McIntyre’s name. While my J stands for Johnson, hers stands for Jane.

A cautionary tale for other authors—thoroughly vet your pseudonym.

For those who would like to meet the original Anna J. McIntyre, here is her website.

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2 comments on “Why Anna J. McIntyre?

  1. Anna Jane McIntyre

    Hello other me! hahah yes some ppl are confused by this name doppelgänger situation as I also write ❤️All good though and I look forward to reading a book of yours one day. Funnily enough I also have another pen name

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Are you THE Anna Jane McIntyre who I’ve been feeling guilty over? The artist? Either way, I am sorry if I hijacked your name. As I said in my post, I chose Anna for my real middle name Ann, the J for my Johnson surname, and the McIntyre I plucked from my family tree.

      Maybe we are distant cousins???

      Thanks for being so good natured over it all. Best of luck in your writing! If you ever decide to read any of my McIntyre books, I recommend checking out the audiobooks of The Coulson Family Saga. The narrator did an amazing job; I really love what she did.

      Take care and stay safe in these crazy times.

      Bobbi

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