Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Pseudonym -- Psycho? Flying Monkeys? How oh how do I WARN YOU???

What music should I use?

I’m thinking maybe that screeching music from Psycho? While Janet Leigh is getting stabbed in the shower?

Or no, maybe that sort of chanting song the flying monkeys are singing while they march into the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle. Oh WE oh we OHHHHH uh (can you hear it?)

I need to set a tone today.

A suspenseful tone. While I tell you all what I’ve DONE!!!????


In October I’ll have my first release as the pseudonymous Mary Nealy.

Here’s a little bit about it before we talk more.

Ten Plagues

By Mary Nealy

A demon possessed serial killer acts out the Ten Plagues of Egypt on the city of Chicago.

An inner city mission pastor draws the attention of a madman and becomes the focus of his rage.

A lady cop with the spiritual gift of discerning spirits gets the case and is confronted with an evil unlike any she's ever known.

The pastor and the cop race to stop a murderer, knowing that the plague of the first born and the plague of darkness are being saved just for them.

And I’ll tell you just a bit about the background of this book because it’s how I met RUTHY!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve told this before, skim if you must, though it’s an adorable story.

I won the Barclay Award with this book. A long, long time ago. Decades. I don’t remember how long but I think I chiseled the manuscript on granite. Or was it papyrus, Ruthy? It’s a memory that is lost in the mists of time.

So, I won. Big time. Out of a possible 100 score I got…maybe 99.5. I can’t remember but it was great.

Come to find out I’d been discrepancy judged. Of three judges I got 98, 99 and 62. (or was it a 32, Ruthy??) So they dropped that mean old bad judge and brought in a fourth judge who gave me a 100.

And I won. Oh, wait, I may have mentioned already that I won, so ignore this second note of the fact that I won!

Soon thereafter here comes an email from some mysterious and cruel person calling herself Ruth Logan Herne. And did she write to tell me she was wrong, wrong, wrong? Oh no. She wrote to tell me she LOVED Ten Plagues and she’d STILL busted it and here’s why……..

She said it was too edgy. Too murderous-rampage-y. Great book but let’s face it chickadee, you’re never gonna get this published in Christian fiction. Never, never, never. And it’s too Christian to get published anywhere else. Never, never, never. And the other judges were all writing secular so her opinion, harsh though it was, was more useful than theirs.

So, though she loved the book, she thought she needed to save me and guide me down a more promising path. (Did the word cowboys ever come up, Ruthy? Another memory lost)

So, being as I’d won ’n everything, it was easy for me to be forgiving. Plus I figured she was right. Plus I fell in love with her honesty and sass and courage to not just slam the book but to be all grown up and tell me why.

And beside I won.

Well, to prove how all-knowing and wise Ruthy is, TADA…..
Ten Plagues releases October 1st.

I used a pseudonym for the book and that’s what I wanted to talk about today. Getting a chance to say to Ruthy, “Neener, neener, neener", is just a fringe benefit.

A Rose by any other name will still alienate her readers if Lil Rosy steps too far outside her brand.

I love Ten Plagues. I think it’s as fun as anything I’ve ever written and it is a fiercely Christian book, with far more spiritual content than many of the books I write. But it is DIFFERENT. And that’s why I wanted the pseudonym. If you pick up Ten Plagues and ask yourself, “I wonder what state THIS cowboy’s ranch is in?” you’re in for a shock.


This is me from back in the day when no one would publish my books and I was on a wild ride, writing whatever I wanted. Whatever entertained me. And this just entertained the stuffin’ out of me.

So, because many of our Seekervillagers, and a few Seekers, too, have different ideas in their heads, outside their brands, I’m going to give you:
The top ten reasons 
you might want to publish under a pseudonym

10) You write romance and your name isn't romantic. Gertrude Hogg might wanta think about a pseudonym. (Please, Dear Lord God in Heaven don't let any Seekervillagers be named Gertrude Hogg) Part 2 of #10, related, because your name is possibly stupid. So Myrtle, you really married a guy named Snarfblatt? Wow, that’s so wonderful. You must be MADLY in love. Pick a pseudonym, sweetie.

9) You just got a contract for erotica and you don't want your mother to find out. (You should never publish ANYTHING your mother can't find out about. That ought to be a law.)

8) You are changing genres. Yes, if you’re going from western romance to romantic thrillers you probably ought to warn your readers. Same goes for romance to women’s fiction. And Christian fiction to Vampires.

7) Your name is Nora and you’re married to the love of your life, William Roberts. Give up. Your name is never gonna come up first in a Google search. NEVER

6) Your name is twistable into something that sounds like a porn site. Ask my friend Carol Cox about that one. And no, she didn’t change her name, but it’s been interesting at time.

5) You work somewhere at a day job where your privacy is important. Though I suspect any effort you make to write with true anonymity is a failed effort.

4) To hide your gender. See Leigh Greenwood and Alex Kava on this one. Yes their gender is out now but not at first. In fact I met Leigh Greenwood, a very successful romance novelist, at RWA and he said he’d come out of the closet and admitted he was a man several books ago.

3) Because you’re prolific. And you want to write more books a year than your publisher will let you.

2) Because your name is generic. Ask my sister Linda Swenson about this one. A lovely name and a lovely woman. But go google her name. It didn’t even come up. I got ‘narrow search’ instead of hits.

1) Your name is impossible to spell. Hello Mary Connealy. HOWEVER, the upside of an odd name is that the website for your name is most likely not taken. AND I picked Mary Nealy but it was by no means my first choice. I found naming myself surprisingly embarrassing. Go see the suspenseful side of ME.

And now here, in public view for the first time anywhere (unless I’m forgetting a place) is a trailer for Ten Plagues.


Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for the first ever in the known universe giveaway of
Click on the title to buy
Then all that remains is to
Be Afraid!


Stephanie Rae Pazicni said...

Oh Mary, I never heard this story before. I laughed so hard. All excellent reasons for using a pseudonym I am sure. Have I mentioned how I luv lurking around Seekerville? Looking forward to reading your new book.
Ima Hogg ((hugs))

Melissa Jagears said...

That's some scary trailer music! I have to say, the fact that you write romantic cowboy romances is the only reason I'm even at all interested in reading a thriller--I do not read or watch scary stuff!!! Not since watching Critters when I was 6 at a very neglectful babysitters that to this day decades later makes it so I can't sleep with my feet or hands dangling over the bed.

But I want to see you pull it off!

Nancy Kimball said...

Yes, PLEASE enter me for the drawing and I'm SO GLAD to know it's not just me. I chose a pseudonym because of 5 & 6 but I got a kick out of the others. I loved this post Mary, truly.
For my first novel, I wrote what I wanted to. I didn't know any better and that MS is just what you described. Almost too violent/gritty for Christian fiction and way too Christian for secular fiction.
The WIP is actually a book that's probably going to sell, LOL, and hopefully that will grease the wheels for the other one.
Truthfully if I don't win, I'm clicking the buy button, because I just love, love, love me some edgy Christian fiction. ;-)

Mary Connealy said...

This is truly how I met Ruthy. Of course I didn't know she was Ruthy then...long before Seekerville.

But I remembered her. Oh baby did I remember.

Mary Connealy said...

Melissa, be so CAREFUL. I do not want to traumatize you.

Maybe Ruthy was right!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Nancy, well, just because I love it, doesn't mean you shouldn't read it during full daylight, with the lights on and the door locked.

Sandy said...

So funny!! I bet you're a blast in person!! Love your books. Looking forward to this one, too!

Virginia said...

Okay, I don't even know where to start.
First, I know a Mary Neal and she would looovvvveee this book! And so would I. This is just awesome, although I really don't like psychopathic rage fiction, I do enjoy the Christian thrillers.
Where was I? Oh, right. My last name (married name) has an 'enya' (like the singer, but it's a diacritic, makes the sound in canyon) and nobody gets it. Probabl because it's usually not there. I think there's a way to put it in with a special character chart, but I'm too lazy to figure it out. :D
So, I get called all sorts of things...

Virginia said...

P.S. That is probably one of the funniest meeting stories I've ever heard!

Ausjenny said...

Ok first of my Aunty was Myrtle, acutally it was Myrtle Olive Henry.
I also have a name that bring up other people like an author who writes sexy romances. (not that I intend to be a writer)
Oh speaking of Gertrude. A friend and I were at the cricket with one of her friends. trying to guess her middle name she said it was bad Well I said it cant be as bad as a girl I went to school with Vanessa Gertrude Gigisvilie (I spelt that wrong but it sounds like that) Oh she got so mad turns out her middle name was Gertrude. She was so mad at my friend and then me!

Helen W said...

Thanks for this post Mary, very entertaining :)

Oh dear, my name gets 19 million hits on Google ... I may have to consider a pseudonym! (Though, results numbers 3 & 8 are actually me lol)

Renee said...

When the man (or woman) with the gun facing down a relentless physical enemy can also operate in the spiritual realm--to me, that's a great story. Inspirational suspense is my favorite genre, and this looks like a great one. Love the trailer and the cover!

I have this book on my wish list but, please, include me in the drawing. reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

With a common alias as a last name, I can relate to the name recognition problem. I made my domain name Renee Ann Smith so that I might stand a chance of coming up on a Google search :)

Ausjenny said...

Hey Helen are you writing a Chrsitian Vampire story?

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Thanks for starting my day off with a smile, a laugh, and the knowledge that you have a dark side.

I had a lot of trouble with my name Julie Hilton Steele because there was a Julie Hyatt (another hotel chain) Steele involved in a presidential scandal. This was a problem for me as I was writing Christian devotionals at the time. No, I am not THAT Julie Steele but boy, did I get Newsweek articles sent to me and such.

Can't wait to read the book. Sounds like a good one for dark fall nights!

Peace, Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Um, hello.


I will only say that the Barclay (God rest its contest soul) brought me to my amazing friendship with the Connealy-meister, and that in itself was a God-thing... What if I'd jumped on the bandwagon and given her a good score??? Huh??? HUH???

NO ONE WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED A THING. I think I was a cut above... ahead of my time... and, um, Mary....

Lest you forget...



Possibly double sigh, with frosting.


Anyway, yes, Ten Plagues brought Mary and I together and NO ONE on Earth (except maybe Ivan, because he gets to deposit royalty checks) is happier for The Connealy than I am because, A: She'll buy me coffee because she makes more money than I do

B.: She'll have a story to tell when her knees are shaking in front of an audience, and she'll be happy to DISS me in public. Obviously. And whatever gives The Connealy joy, blesses me.

(I might have gagged, just a little) on that last)

C.: I actually think that Mary's contemporary suspense novels are BETTER than her romantic comedies with cowboys, which I know seems impossible, especially after the way I've been carrying on about her BESTSELLER "Out of Control" on shelves right now from Bethany House!

I love Out of Control. Just loved the entire thing.

And now I'm done. I've got a cold, my head is pounding, and my nose is sore, but I'm not complaining...

Of course not!!! :)

I'm celebrating and Snoopy Dancing in the strees of upstate for The Connealy!!!!

(Hey, NYC has The Donald... We've got The Connealy. Perfect!)

Helen W said...

Hey Jenny - um no, I'm not ... have I given off the impression that I am? I don't believe that "Christian" and "vampire" can co-exist on the same planet, let alone the same book!

I'm writing Christian YA fiction because I was horrified that the YA shelves in the bookstores here in Aus are full of nothing but vampires (or witches and the like).

(Well, off my soapbox now ... is there such a thing as Christian vampire fiction?)

Kirsten Arnold said...

Love the "how I met Ruthy story!" And TEN PLAGUES looks amazing. Something that will give me nightmares for years, but amazing. : o)

When I finished my third ms and realized I was in this writing thing for the long haul I started thinking of what name I'd like to be published under decided on my first asnd middle. Kirsten Lynn. Now I just need the contract.


Helen W said...

Mary, a question - how do you manage the marketing side of things when you have books published under two different names? Will you have two different websites - one for each author name? And if so, do you use the same photos and bio?

Mary Connealy said...

Sandy, in person, most people sort of wish I'd shut up and type them an answer.

Mary Connealy said...

Virginia, first of all, perhaps a gift giving situation. I'm actually sorry I didn't consult you. Mary Neal is a nice name and that would probably be at least ONE sale of this strange and wonderful (okay, mostly STRANGE) book.

Mary Connealy said...

And 'enya' 'canyon' I know just how you feel with explaining the pronounciation of a name.

The pronounciation of Connealy actually requests a sentence or two (or three) of explanation. I'm not sure all the diacritical marks in the world would help.

Connealy Hmmm k'NEE lee.
Syllable emphasis in this order. Middle, last, first. Swallow the Con almost completely just a quick K sound.
The rhythm is similar to how you're pronounce
Oh Really

But I'm a firm believer that, if your name is hard to pronounce you've just got to be a good sport about it when people mangle it. That's only fair.

Mary Connealy said...

Oops, sorry about the Gertrude, Jenny.
I have a character in an unpublished book named Prudence and everyone calls her Trudy or Tru. That was fun.
And I've got a cousin Gertrude and we've always only called her Trudy. She's managed to live a full life.

Mary Connealy said...

I had to go check my list, Helen. As long as it's not the one on the list where you can't tell your mother what you're writing, the rest is okay.

Mary Connealy said...

I'd like to say here that I should NOT be up at this hour. What is the MATTER with me?

Mary Connealy said...

And I ate Mexican food last night and as always they served waaaay too much. So I'm serving what I brought home in the doggie bag for breakfast. The lettuce is a little wilted but do any of us really need to eat, huh? I mean how hungry can a person be at this hour?
I'll dig through the refrigerator later. I think I've got some left over goulash. Maybe for lunch

Mary Connealy said...

Renee, the thing that set me to writing Ten Plagues was the Bible verse about spiritual gifts. From 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 which says in part:
for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

I was reading that list and it struck me that I was familiar with all those gifts. I knew people who had all those gifts...all except Discerning Spirits. And I started thinking 'what if'. What if you could walk up to someone and know they were possessed by a demon?
OR, conversely, what if you could know they had a beautiful, strong, faithful spirit.

That sent me down the path to a lady cop with this gift and all the trouble and wonder that came along with it.

Mary Connealy said...

The 'How I Met Ruthy' story should be it's own book.

No doubt chaos and mayhem through out.

No fiction required.

*lizzie starr said...

Oh, aren't names just so much fun. I chose my pseudonym for personal preference...although it's probably worked out well for a lot of reasons. My current name (I've had birth, adopted and married) is most generally mispronounced, although I don't see why. Struble is STROO-ble not Struh-ble. Struh-ble would have another b. But anyhoo... Starr works just fine

I make it a practice not to try to say someone's last name--just because I WILL mispronounce it.

Congrats on the new book--and love the trailer!

Mary Connealy said...

Helen, I have wrangled around in my head about this a LOT.

I haven't really figured it out yet.

First of all, it wasn't all just to warn you. That was my main motivation, HOWEVER, I am contractually obligated (couple of big words there, huh) to use Mary Connealy only with Bethany House AND I can only write historical fiction for Bethany House. So I couldn't use my name anyway. But that was fine with me.

I almost named myself Merica Nealy
Say that a couple of times fast.
Merica sounds almost exactly like you pronounce Mary Connealy, plus it's kinda patriotic don't you think? Merica America????

But after a couple of alarming mispelling instances with my publisher, at which time I began to have fear for the future, I decided to simplify it.

But naming myself was HARD. I fooled around with it for the better part of a YEAR. My maiden name is MOORE. Well, forget that. Totally taken. I through middle names in (ala Mary Tyler Moore) they were all taken. I'm amazed at how many websites are out there.

I could name myself after my mother
Dorothy....not real romantic. My grandmothers Bernice and Latta. But would I turn around if someone called out to me LATTA! HI!
I'd probably just keep walking and Latta Moore the snob would become legend.

Then I'd need to check facebook and websites and blogs.

It was a maddening process. And of course a huge part of my weak-willed ego wanted to pick a GREAT name, a romantic name.

Daphne L'Amour
Venus Deville
Athena Persephone

You know what I mean. But that's embarrassing, mainly because ... trust me ... I look NOTHING like a Persephone.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm sorry you're sick, Ruthy. GET WELL IN TIME FOR ME TO GIVE YOU A HUG AT ACFW!!!!!!!!

Also, please don't bring food. Even your cyber food might infect all our lovely friends here.

Erica Vetsch said...

Mary, you know how you say we're really sisters separated at birth?

Ruthy gave me my very first contest score.


What I turned in was truly dreadful, but she was so nice when she told me my baby was U.G.L.Y.

I can't wait to get my hands on Ten Plagues. Methinks I'll buy it in Rochester when you're here. :)

Mary Connealy said...

*Lizzie isn't the trailer great?

A friend who is in my local RWA Chapter is making trailers and she's really good at it. Fun to work with, too.

Barb Hunt. Should I give out her email address on a pubic blog like this?

I'd do it for myself but hesitate to do it to Barb.

Mine is If you want Barb's contact info, email me.

Mary Connealy said...

ERICA!!! I swear every time we turn around we find something else exactly in common.

It's mystical.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, and hey...a week ago or so I found out Out of Control showed up on the EPCA bestseller list at #17. (I'm sure I'd have been on that list a dozen times before if they'd just make it a LITTLE longer. Like top 50 instead of top 20.

Well, Top 100 maybe. Okay, just make it Top 250. It's not like we'd run out of cyberspace if we made the list a LITTLE LONGER!!!!!

I've written several terse letters but nothing changes.

Mary Connealy said...

Oops, I meant to say more in that last comment. Last Night I Found Out

Out of Control is on another bestseller list. I'm a little dizzy just saying that. the CBA online bestseller list for September. It's really there. I just went and checked again.


Janet Dean said...

Wow, Mary, I watched that trailer and I'm on edge! Stop that! I have a happy ending to write!

Honestly I'm dying to read this book! Oops bad choice of words. You have an amazing imagination!!

Ruthy possess great wisdom.

Loved the Top Ten List!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Mary Nealy, you scare me. I know I can't read this book because you are too fantastic of a writer and will have me hiding under the covers. LOL

Love the story of how you met Ruthy.

Don't you love to Neener, neener?

But at the time Ruthy was right. You had to get a big name first before a publisher would venture out on this kind of a risk.

And also the Christian market has evolved tremendously. There is much more out there than there was ten years ago. More opportunity for different genres.

Best wishes on this Mary.

jewels67 said...

I loved the trailer and I am looking forward to reading TEN PLAGUES.... I can't wait I am so stoked to read this.. :)

DebH said...

i'm not a big horror/thriller book or film person in general, but the spiritual aspect of the book fascinates me. i would love to win a copy of your book since current finances have severly curbed my reading purchases allowance *sigh*.

i love the history behind the book. i guess the moral of the story is never say never! (or, thank God for straight forward, blunt judges who care).

i learn so much here at Seekerville. You ladies are awesome.

nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that Sandra said I was RIGHT...

At the time.

Because I'm vindicated in print. Thank you, friend Sandra! ;)


I will be over the worst of this before I see you guys on Wednesday. And it might have a calming/quieting effect on me, and that's never a bad thing, right???


Love the bestseller list hits, Mary! I knew it all along, well, after I smacked down your book in 1927. Or thereabouts.


Oh my stars. ;)

Erica, I bet I saw the hidden beauty within, didn't I? I did that with Melanie, too, when The Woodsman's Daughter was in contests...

Let me just say, that award-winning novel was a Ruthy-fave when others failed to jump on her bandwagon. Obviously this post is (as always) all about ME.

I am a sick individual.

Leaving untouched by my hands delicious pastries from Panera. No one there has a cold, I'm sure.


Melanie Dickerson said...

OOooo! I can't wait to read this book, Mary. Can't wait!!!!!!!

I met a girl at my last RWA local chapter meeting and was very excited to learn that she is published, through a small press, in Young Adult Inspirational. Just like me! But then she told me that she also writes erotica.

Say what? Yes, she uses pseudonyms, but honestly, I can't imagine and I just don't get it. I told her that was weird. I couldn't stop myself!

But anyway (hoping she's not reading this) ...

My first book The Healer's Apprentice has just a wee bit of demonic stuff going on near the end. Some Christians were very put off by that, but only the Christians who don't believe that demons exist in our world. And I can't help but wonder if that's why so many people called this book a fantasy when I don't consider it a fantasy at all. I consider it a historical. Nowhere will you find it categorized as a fantasy, except in people's reviews. But oh well.

Looking forward to your most spiritual book ever, Mary!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

LOL, Ruthy! Yes, you were the ONLY judge who saw any beauty in my first book! The other two judges slammed it. That was probably the first contest I ever entered it in, where it was pointed out to me that the heroine had no goal or motivation. That was when I realized I had to actually let the reader know what her goals and motivations were. It wasn't enough for only me to know what they were. Who knew?

I will always love you, Ruthy, for liking my book in its really rough, early form.

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, Mare, this has to be in the top three of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES of all your fabulous blogs, my friend -- I laughed out loud more than once because you are just SO darn cute!!

Cannot WAIT to read this one although God knows I seldom step out of the historical romance category or EVER read anything scary (my life is scary enough, thank you!), but for you??? You bet.


Winter said...

Mary, you sly woman! I must get this book!

Right now, I think I have a corner on the market when it comes to my name. <};^)

But if I were to ever step outside of what I normally write, I'm gonna have a hard time following up with Winter A. Peck, though my maiden name is pretty cool too, I could probably do a J.D. Robb type of name.

Anonymous said...

Mary, You are a HOOT!!! What a great morning cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing! Your article and all of your comments are great! I'm not really into this sort of book, a thriller, but for you, I think I could read this one! I know my oldest daughter would absolutely LOVE it! Thank you for the giveaway and chance to win!

Blessings to you!
Kelly Y.

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie, your comment about letting the reader know what the writer knows is so true, and very funny.

Someone would ask about something and I'd know the answer and they'd say, "uh, you've got to put it in the book, honey."

Mary Connealy said...

And now can we have a show of hands of all the people Ruthy's judge's comments have driven out of the writing game?

Nope, didn't think so. They're all gone.

But honestly, when it comes to being an author, I think if you CAN quit, you SHOULD. Most of us can't.


Cheryl St.John said...

Awesome trailer, Mary!!

Mary Connealy said...

DebH I really don't want to traumatize anyone. Really. I don't.

I've got furrows in my forehead from worrying.

Botox alert.

Sherri Shackelford said...

LOVE the book trailer! If they can put cowboys & aliens together, you can put Mary & thriller together!!

Pseudonyms are funny. I tried out a few, then decided I just wanted to start out as myself. Although...You never know. Plus, the first pseudonym I picked out was a popular porn star. I did get a lot of hits on blog, though :)

Mary Connealy said...

jewel, know this. I have calmed this book down a LOT since I first wrote it.

I like to think I've taken enough blood and violence out that it is now almost at an acceptable level to co-exist with human decency.

So if you read it and you're horrified by it, thank me for cleaning it up to this point.

Also, the plague of blood, the FIRST plague, trust me, MUCH IMPROVED. shudder

Mary Connealy said...

Sherri, LOL yes the people looking for a porn site, well, darlin' those folks need your soon to be released first book. Christian fiction.

They need it BADLY.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Cheryl St. John. Cheryl is who connected me with Barb Hunt and her trailers.


mary bailey said...

You all know me as Mary Bailey, the sweet super-wife-and-mom from It's a Wonderful Life. But my real name happens to be Gertrude Hogge...that's Hogge with an "e"...and I am highly offended.

Kidding! Of course.

Mary this was a fascinating and hilarious look at pseudonyms. I use a pseudonym for blogging because I'm not ready to have a blog mostly about writing, reading and books just yet. When I am, I'll use my real name.

Your newest book sounds fascinating and more than a little scary. I would love to win it. thanks!

Mary Connealy said...

Winter, fantastic name. I'm so jealous. Not only memorable but SPELLABLE and yet really unusual.

Mary Connealy said...

Be careful Julie. I don't want you to be too scared. I can't have that on my conscience.

Mary Connealy said...

Wow, Mary Bailey, my heart is still pounding a little. Phew, you're teasing.

I do think that some people seem to be almost defiant about their questionable names. Like, "I'm not going to CHANGE my weird name, I'm going to make it stand for something."

Toward that end we've got a SKUTT highschool in Omaha and a GROSS highschool.

Give it up people. There is nothing more unfortunate than a newspaper headline that says, "Gross girls are Class A State Basketball Champs"

Carol Moncado said...

So I'm sitting in class giving a test and the class next door is some sort of music appreciation or something class and they're playing creepy music right now /shudder/.

I would LOVE this one! Not something I'd normally buy either though I'd read on a rec from a friend. Ruthy's rec counts... :D.

I have a hero in a book I want to write who writes edgy Inspirational romance [a la Julie Lessman/Deeanne Gist/etc]. He uses a pseudonym. I want to give him the last name Linscott after one of my very very favorite heroes /swoon/. Anyone know who I'd talk to to see if that's okay? With much gushing credit should it ever see the light of day, of course. [And if not, Pepper and I shall slave away to find another absolutely perfect name... ;)]

Wonder if I can get some words in while 5 students finish testing...

carolmoncado at gmail dot com

Kav said...

I'm excited...and a little scared...but determined to thwart that fear so I'll be ready for Ten Plagues.(Picture Piglet shivering under a blanket.)

What a fun story about how you and Ruthy met! I hadn't heart it before.

So, how much editing did you have to do between the version that won the Barclay Award and the one that's being published in a few short weeks?

Joanne Sher said...

What a FAABBBBulous story - have heard hints, but not the whole thing.

No pseudonym for me- though if I'd never gotten married, DEFINITELY (maiden name is LOL).

PLEASE enter me - I'm totally intrigued by this book.

Kathy Kovach... said...

Put me in the drawing, Mary C. . .or N. . .or whatever your name is! Once again you prove that we may have been twins at one time. My roots are in romantic suspense, but that was my "cutting teeth" book. It took 3rd in ACRW's Noble theme back in the day. I love the spiritual spin you've put on yours. I've been kicking around an idea for a mystery that involves more of the Supernaturalness of God, but haven't been brave enough to venture out there yet. Who's the canary now, eh?

Jeanne T said...

Mary, I'm laughing out loud from your post and all the comments. :) Good things to think about. I'm thinking about using a pseudonym because of my DH's line of work, but haven't decided. My name is already out there on fb and in the internet world, so we'll see.

Loved your trailer! When I get to read this book, it will definitely be in daylight, a sunny day. Otherwise, I'll lie awake trying to figure everything out and not be scared by what I read. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Carol, that is a sort of twisting turning comment.
You're writing an edgy book about a man who writes edgy books?
And you want to name him Linscott and because I've got a hero named Linscott you wonder if that's okay?

It's fine by me. In fact I insist. LOL

Just so you know Linscott is one of my former neighbors. And elderly man, heavy on the wrinkles. Sweet. Dead now.
The fact that I made him a romantic hero has arched a few eyebrows in my neighborhood? Really? Linscott?

Well, Tom didn't start out as a romantic hero. He was just a kind of cranky neighbor guy. Who knew he'd grow into one of my favorite alpha males? And by the time I figured it out, his name was already in print, plus I'd gotten to love it.

Mary Connealy said...

Kav, no one can say Ruthy isn't memorable.

And I like the shivering piglet image. It is now alive in my brain forever.

Mary Connealy said...

KATHY KOVACH--Crack that rom suspense book out of the mothballs and cast it on the waters, girl. You knever know what might happen.

Kathy and I were given our first contracts at the same ACFW conference by Barbour publishing.

She got her's first. Then they called my name. And she's been ahead of me ever since, learning all the hard lessons, which I then make her tell me so I won't have any trouble. Thus my nickname for her, My Canary in the Mine Shaft.

I'll see what I can do for you with romantic suspense, girl.

Mary Connealy said...

Joanne, I'd think Sher would be a pretty good name. Maybe there are zillions of you but I've never heard it before.
Is it pronounced SURE? Maybe you should call yourself Joanne Sure, that's sort of ....
confident sounding.

Mary Connealy said...

Jeanne the thing with a pseudonym and keeping your writing truly private is, you've got to go market it. Promote it. Do booksignings and especially booksignings close to home. And you WANT your friends and family there, your church, your neighbors.

In the end you'll need to promote it and that means it could connect to your husband. But you get used to it.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Mary! Ten Plagues looks awesome! I enjoy a good spiritual thriller, so I'd love to be in the drawing.

I've been wrestling with the pseudonym quandary. I love my maiden name, Queen, which is not only a fun name (AND it's real!) , but would also make it so easy to find my books (someday) on the shelf. (True story: In my high school of 1,800, I was the only person with a "Q" last name, and my guidance counselor STILL lost my folder!).

But I also want to honor my husband with my married name. On the other hand, I want to write murder mystery cozies someday, and those will most likely NOT be under a Christian publishing house. My best guess at this point will be one last name for each.

Oh, to be so blessed to have to decide someday...

stephludwig at hotmail dot com

Mary Connealy said...

KAV, I did a LOT of editing. The good side of that is, I truly have gotten better at this writing gig. You realize that when you go back and rework an old book.

Mary Connealy said...

Stephanie, I have found that my husband's delicate sensibities are soothed when I wave my royalty check under his nose.

Sort of like smelling salts for his ego.

In fact, he gets completely enthused.

Carol Moncado said...

Hehe - thanks Mary!

There will be appropriate fawning and appreciativeness should this ever come to see the light of day... :D

I wouldn't hold your breath...


Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

BTW, Mary, I'm planning to come to your book signing in Lincoln on Sunday. I'm excited to meet you!

Angela Bell said...

Hey, Mary! I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Ten Plagues ever since you shared your intriguing pitch over lunch. I cannot wait to read it!

Please put my name in the drawing and uh pick *cough* ME *cough cough*. ;-)

P.S. I look forward to seeing my Seekerville friends at the ACFW conference next week!!! :-)

Mia Ross said...

All great reasons for inventing a name. I'm still LOL-ing. Congrats on your new venture, Mary, and GOOD LUCK!

Mary Connealy said...


Stephanie and I will now explain to all of you how to conduct your life.

Nebraska has ALLLLLL the answers.

Mary Connealy said...

ANGELA I can't wait to see you! It's NEXT WEEK.

Okay, hyperventilating.
I'm already having airport's kind of a hobby whenever I have to travel.

But once I'm there, I will totally calm down, right? Help!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Mia. btw, that's a pretty author name, kinda romantic.

Whether it's really you or you invented it Way To Go!!!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Yes, Mary, I am from Nebraska! Born and raised in Omaha, in fact. (I'm not really a cowgirl, although I do bleed Husker red.)

I do believe if the Israelites hadn't settled in the Middle East, they would have kept on going until they reached the promised land of the Good Life.

Keli Gwyn said...

Wow! Watched the trailer. Creepy in a captivating kinda way. And not a cowboy in sight. Who woulda thunk you had a dark suspense novel lurking, Mary? I'm intrigued.

Regarding pseudonyms, there are those who might think that with a name like Keli Gwyn I'd be tempted to change it, but I love my names. My mom gave me the unique spelling of my first name so it wouldn't look like a boy's name (Yeah, back in the Dark Ages when I was born more guys were named Kelly than today. Anyone remember Dr. Kelly Brackett on Emergency?) My awesome hubby with Welsh heritage blessed me with Gwyn. (Love that the Welsh people totally get that Y is a vowel.)

While Kelly Gwen would be easier for people to spell, I'm rocking my unique name. I'm the only Keli Gwyn in cyberspace, so I'm on the first page--and every page--when you pop "Keli Gwyn" in the Google search bar (within quotation marks).

Lest you think I expect everyone to spell Keli my way, I overcome potential obstacles by purchasing the URLs for the four main variations of my first name. Folks are on their own with Gwyn, though. You wouldn't believe how many ways I've seen that spelled. =)

Mary Connealy said...

I'll see you this Sunday at the book signing.

I'm supposed to talk a bit. Stephanie Grace Whitson and me.
I need to tell a bit about the book.

We should work out some kind of signal.

If I tug on my ear that'll mean I'm trying to be funny. Could you just pretend to be amused please?

Mary Connealy said...

Keli Gwyn is a great name. And these days Google will often toss a few potential misspellings in the mix.

I type in Pellini and Google will offer me Pelini.

(that's a Nebraska cornhusker reference just for Stephanie Q and me)

Amber said...

Who dont love a good suspense novel !! I love the sound of it and it sounds like another great read by a fantastic author , Sounds excited would love to be entered in for a chance to win it ! have a wonderful and blessed day and take care !

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Honey, worry didn't cause those furrows.

Time did.

Helen Gray said...

Is anyone suffering from coffee deprivation yet?

Just in case, here's a HUGE pot.

Thanks for the laughs, Mary.

I have manuscripts in two genres, so I've decided that if I ever need a pseudonym I'll just play chameleon and change colors.

For one genre I'm Helen Gray, my married name. For the other I'll be Helen Brown, my maiden name.


Mary Connealy said...

Seriously your maiden name is Brown and your married name is Gray?

That is very funny.

Helen Gray said...



I grew up as Helen Brown. I lived on Green Street. I married my pastor and became Helen Gray. We had three children, a redhead, a brunette, and a blond. And now that they;re grown, both my sons are "boys in blue."

Color life huh?????

Anita Mae Draper said...

Wow! Mary - I said, WOW!!!

So this is the book you were hinting at in NY, eh. Jeepers, creepers, who'da thought. Well, obviously, Ruthie did.

Can I say a belated congrats on winning that contest? I'm still getting chills from your trailer.

Did you say who took the chance on you and published this work? If you did, I missed it.

I would love to win this book - wait - then I'll never look at you the same again. Hmmm - heck with it, enter me, please...

anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com

Mary Connealy said...

Helen congratulations on a colorful life. I'm more the beige type.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Anita Mae. Jeepers Creepers is close. Mostly just CREEPERS!!!

See you soon, girl.

Renee said...

Love how you came to create this story, Mary! Makes me even more eager to read it.

Anonymous said...

I've had varying degrees of success at trying to Google my own name. If I Google "Margaret Adams Birth"--the name under which I publish poetry and literary fiction--I can find a few things. (Once or twice, I've even found items I hadn't realized the e-zines I'd submitted them to had gone ahead and published!) But then there are the so-not-me Web sites that come up when I Google "Margaret Birth"--the name under which I write short nonfiction and devotionals: "Read our blog entry about Margaret's birth!" "Smith Family Genealogy Site. Margaret Smith's Date of Birth: 1766." Definitely not me. Your article reminded me of why I'm so glad I decided to publish the genre fiction I write under a pseudonym--thank you!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Congratulations Mary!
How exciting to go against the tide :)

Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Attention: Rainbow Helen...

That's hysterical.

But two boys in blue?

That rocks.

I'm saluting you right now, while I think of other ways to make fun of Mary.

But thank you for the coffee. I need a short nap. Or caffeine.

Caffeine wins!

Pepper said...

Mary's gone to the dark-side of the force.

No wait....

Those are clouds outside.

Can't wait to check out Nealy's book.

And I think I've already figured out my pseudonym so that my mom won't find out ;-)

Helen Gray said...

Okay, Ruthy, just in case I've mislead you. My "boys in blue" are not military blue. One is USPS, the other law enforcement (former MP).

Mary Connealy said...

HEY!!! I just got an email from someone who got an advance copy of Ten Plagues. She was so NICE.

I am, of course, Eeyore-like, predicting utter failure with the book, but only because no one TRIES it. I'm sure if I can just get them to TRY it, they will love it.

And when I say, "I'm sure." I mean I'm completely NOT sure, but sort of dreaming. Hoping. Okay LYING.

Mary Connealy said...

PEPPER, you are gonna need EIGHT pseudonyms, girl. You're got so many ideas, all great. But widely varied.

connie said...

The book sounds so good! I don't normally read scary, but I'm willing to give it a try.

That's a great story of how you and Ruthy met.

I don't mind my name Connie Queen, but my last name almost sounds fake.

I have a wip where a 42 year-old timid librarian has to play the part of a confident career woman to help her daughter w/a psycology project. Her name is Marti Atkins, but she chooses a name to fit her new personality, American Huntington.
...That's the name I'd like to have...American Huntington. But like my charcter in the story, I'd have to quit wearing capris w/running shoes and socks that show...So dorky!

bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

I'd love to win your book. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Mary Connealy said...

Anonymous, your name is BIRTH? That is such a cool name. I know someone named Natalie Country. Isn't that a cool name?

But the trouble with names that are also regular words is, if you are typing along and suddenly decide that instead of calling your hero (Elijah Walker) by the name ELI you want only his MOM to call him that and everyone else call him Walker, then you do a find and replace for Eli, changing it ot Walker and you get one thousand entries like this.

And I once named a character Chance and then changed that name to GRANT. Well, guess what? I'd used the word chance a zillion times having NOTHING to do with my heroes name, so I had to wade through that book changing each name one at a time, instead of being able to 'replace all'. So I usually, even if I'm going to name someone a fairly common name that's also a word, spell their name a bit funny. So I can change the names at will.

Btw, my wip has a heroine named Ruthy. But she's hiding from her cruel adoptive family and refuses to give her name so the hero starts calling her Rosy. I'm having fun with that.

Mary Connealy said...

I know what you said, Ruthy but no, I didn't make my Ruthy a serial killer....or a nun. Maybe next time.

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, clocking in here late in the day after running several pre-ACFW errands, and 100 comments already!!!

Um, can you say "Miss Popularity"???

. . . okay, after whizzing through comments with absolutely no hope of catching up . . .

I just have to pop in here with a response to HELEN. My #1 daughter has three boys, a brunette, a redhead, and a blond. Amazing. They really don't even look like brothers!

And I don't even want to discuss Googling the last name Johnson.

Myra Johnson said...

So, Mary, is there a sequel to TEN PLAGUES? Will we see more from Mary Nealy in the future?

Wait. Why am I asking? I'm not even sure I'm brave enough to get through this book without hiding under the bed!

Mary Connealy said...




Myra Johnson said...

You are too sweet, Mary! I absolutely CANNOT wait to see you at ACFW!!!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...


My maiden name was Queen! And here's a fun twist: my grandmother's name was Connie Queen! It was short for Consuelo, but she always went by Connie.

Somewhere, we're probably distantly related.

But the name Queen is awesome. My mom always told me I would grow up and marry Prince William, because we were both "royalty." Sadly, I am not Kate Middleton, although my husband is pretty rocking, too.

Larissa Hoffman said...

Your book sounds AWESOME! But I like edgy that remains Christian, which is hard to find.

As a unpub seeker that is about to pitch and query for the first time, you have given me food for thought. Luckily, my name isn't too common or too weird. (At least I hope not).

connie said...

Wow. I didn't realize there was anyone else with my name until I googled it a few weeks ago when Seekerville had us do that. That's so cool.

My maiden name was Monk, so I changed genders when I married. LOL.
My husband's family is from Georgia and, I think, Alabama.

Once I had a saleperson call me and ask for Mrs. King. He wasn't trying to funny, the name just threw him.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Mary, you and Ruthy are a baaaaad combination! I'd hate to see what conspires when you're in the same room.

And I don't care whether you're a Connealy or a Nealy, I'm planning to read ALL of your books! So there!

Tina Pinson said...

Well that settles it, Mare, I won't be able to read your books anymore. You're changing your name and trying a new genre.

That is so wrong.

Can you hear the seriousness in my words?

Of course, I'll read you under your fake name. Just because I kind of like ya and all.

And I've been trying a new genre myself. But I don't know that I have to get me a pseudonym. No one really knows my name now.

I have considered Elizabeth Grover middle and maiden name. Also the name of a blue monster, which could work well for sci-fi and suspense. Or just using initials and maiden. But it's not so detrimental in my world yet at least I don't think so.

Proud of you, Mare and how awesome for you.
Congrats and all that jazz.

Or Perhaps the key to success is letting Ruthy judge your story. Seems to instill determination

Oh Ruthy...


Tina Pinson said...

Also wanted to get in for the critique. There is one or two more right?

Faye said...

Great post. I and I can see where sometimes a name change might be in order. Best wishes for the sucess of your suspense book :)

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, I am so excited about his book! Can't wait to read you in full suspense mode! Won't that be, well, suspenseful!

Congrats on doing it all and doing it all so doggone well! You are amazing.

And how 'bout that Ruthy? Has she got guts or what? As they say, no guts no glory. And Ruthy is glorious!

So are you, dear Mary. Plus #13 on the CBA Bestseller Chart for OUT OF CONTROL! Oh my gosh. Be still my heart!

Hope you'll talk to your old friends in Seekerville at the ACFW Conference. You won't be sitting on the stage, will you? Eating at the special table for all the big time writers? Promise you'll wave as we pass in the hallway.

I'll curtsy and demurely lower my eyes.

Just kidding. I'll give you a big hug!

You're flyin' high, and we're all thrilled!

Debby Giusti said...

Helen, you certainly are colorful!

WOW!!!! Amazing. Ah, I see a mystery series for you...Lady in Green, Lady in Gray, Lady in Blue...

You get the idea. Shall we brainstorm storylines at ACFW?

Susan Anne Mason said...

Congrats on your thriller, Mary! Hope you gain a whole new set of fans!

Talking about names, no one would ever guess my maiden was real: It's Moneypenny. Yup. Just like in James Bond. And yes, I recently found out that the author met a distant relative of my dad's family on vacation and loved the name so much he used it as a recurring character. You have no idea how many times my mother and I (both secretaries) have been asked about James Bond. It was years later that I found the connection!

So I was very happy to have a normal married name like Mason! Trouble is there are loads of Susan Mason's (that's why I use my middle name as well).

Fun topic. Have a great day everyone.

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Mary Connealy said...

I'm doing a radio talk show in about twenty minutes.

Once it's done I think there's a way to link to it so you can listen to it anytime.

So I'll do that. If I can.

I'm kinda nervous. You could all say a prayer.

Pam Hillman said...

Wow, that is one scary story.

Am I talking about Ten Plagues, or Ruthy coming down on Mary? lol

And, that trailer....

Shiver me timbers.

Mary, this might be one of your books that I simply CANNOT read.

No wonder you have insomnia!

Mary Connealy said...

Susan, your maiden name is MONEYPENNY??? That is so fabulous.

Mary Connealy said...

call in to the radio show NOW!

Cathy Shouse said...

I, too, met Ruthy through the Barclay. Her personality came through all over the page. She had a lot of advice for me but she was so darn enthusiastic and supportive, that I saved her comments.

It does my heart good to know that we can learn and grow. :)

Oops, Mary, are you still here? I was thinking this was a Ruthy post for a minute. She does make her presence known, doesn't she?

I'd love to win the book.

Mary Connealy said...

who called? Two people called from Seekerville, thank you sooooo much. Cathy and Tina???
Cathy Shouse? Tina Pinson?

So fun of you to call and talk to me.

Mary Connealy said...

the insomnia came first, Pam. This didn't cause it.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm all shaky from the radio show. I'm supposed to get links to the podcast. I'll share them when I have them.

Mary Connealy said...

Heaven only knows what I said!!!!

Helen Gray said...

Myra, my three kids don't look like they could possibly be brothers and sister.

Debby, how about Lady Sees Red (at certain times)?

Susan, I had an uncle whose last name was Moneymaker.

Anonymous said...

Yep I confess, I called in to pester you. Can I just say you sound different than I expected. In a good way if course.


Tina P

Sally Bradley said...

Mary, I went to Amazon, expecting to see that you self-pubbed this book, but it's with Barbour. Wow! Do they do much suspenseful fiction? Maybe they just really like you. :)

Loved the blog post; loved the comments. I'm a writer-in-training myself, and I always longed to marry a guy with a great Polish name--Wojciechowski or something like that.

Well, I got the Polish guy, but it was only on his mom's side. So I ended up as Sally Bradley, but of course now I realize that's a much better name to have readers looking for than Sally Wojo-sneeze-something-or-other.

sallybradleywrites AT gmaildotcom

Cathy Shouse said...

Waving my hand, Mary.

Right after my comment popped up, your message said, "Call me now" and I did. :)

I never would have remembered if you hadn't said it right then.

I thought about pretending to be Ruthy and saying that book was not appropriate for inspirational, but decided against it. lol

Cathy Shouse said...


When you say, if you can quit, you should, could you explain?

Not sure why you say that. Now that you're published and doing great, isn't it a pretty good life? Or do you still with you could lay down the stories and move on to something else?


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Any kind of blue, Helen! :) I love me some postal dudes...

And cops?

Oh my stars, I write some fun cops. I'm just sayin'...

Super proud of you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cathy Shouse, I never, ever, ever blow sunshine at people.

I may make an exception if the person appears suicidal. But only if they are NOT KIDDING.

And Cathy, you're one talented chickie.

I like sharing posts with Mary. It heightens my respectability levels.


Hey... chocolate crinkle cookies...

Vanilla ice cream...

Oh my, homemade ice cream sandwiches. Dig in!

Ruth Logan Herne said...




Patty Wysong said...

Loved your reasons, Mary. And loved your meet Ruthy story. LOL. So, after you WON that contest did you edit some of those things Ruthy pointed out?

Pam K. said...

I'm am really curious to read this book since it is such a departure from your others (and because it just plain looks good!). However, I don't think I'll be able to read it before I go to sleep like I can your cowboy books. The trailer was kind of creepy but did make me want to read the book. I admire you for being willing to step out and publish something so different than what you are known for. I wish you much success; just keep those cowboy books coming!

KC Frantzen said...

So VERY late to the party but this is a great post Mary.

PLEASE enter me - would love to win but either way, the *ahem* suspense is killing me to read this version from the mind of Mary... :)

may at maythek9spy dot com

dashing... but wanted to stop by.

Audra Harders said...

Mary! What an awesome trailer! I felt the evil right down to my bones.

Had to laugh at your number nine about publishing erotica. Not that it EVER crossed my mind, but years ago when I told my husband I wanted to write romance novels, he just smiled and told me write what I want as long as I didn't get us kicked out of church.

LOL! I wonder what he'd think of the Ten Plagues???

Great book. Great top ten. Great pseudonym.

Mary Connealy said...

Well! I'm sorry about that. My Cowboy came and lassoed me and I've been working every since.

"I need a ride."

I just follow. I don't ask.

Pepper said...

There are enough spices to cover EIGHT psuedonyms ;-)

other ideas?

Mary Connealy said...

Cathy, yes it's absolute bliss on this side of that stubborn door to pubishing. Once you've kicked your way through it, there are no problems ever.


But really, yes once you're published and making at least some money and have someone wanting that next book, it's different and wonderful and sometimes crazy stressful but it's okay.

But getting there....I talk to people who are DEVASTATED by rejections and harsh criticisms and ugly Amazon reviews. And I just say STOP! Get tough or get out because it is always going to be hard. Those one star reviews only START when you get published, before that it's only agents and editors and contest judged who are insulting your precious baby and calling it ugly.

Honestly (well, I could be wrong so many NOT honestly) but I worry about people who get that very first book published. There is a lot to be said for having a few years to GET TOUGH. To grow that rhino hide. To accept that you've GOT to take criticism. This is Good Practice for once you're published. Instead of being devastated you say, "Oh yeah, well, I once got a ONE in the Golden Heart. I can take it. I know how to revise. This doesn't even touch me."

Mary Connealy said...

One of my daughters told her boss that her mom wrote romance novels and now, every time it comes up, her boss says, "Your mom writes those sex books, doesn't she?"

I've pleaded with my daughter to clear that up. Maybe she could give him a copy of Out of Control as a Christmas present.

Cathy Shouse said...


Glad you got a chuckle out of the idea I might impersonate you on a radio show, Ruthy. :)

Thanks for coming back and giving an explanation on the "quit if you can" idea, Mary. Since I'm published in nonfiction articles and one book, I know what you mean, somewhat. I can say someone wrote a letter to the editor saying how insensitive I was (long story, the editor hung me out to dry on that one--just one of many calls to reporter friends saying "I can't go on doing this." sob. And I did.

I would not trade any of the bad stuff in the nonfiction (like when my husband said no one would buy a "paperback" book of historic photos for $21.99 and my teen agreed. Then my teen films me with a long line of people waiting for me to sign. :)

You have taught me I need to be patient and I appreciate it.

Wish I could see everyone in St. Louis, but it's James Dean Festival in Fairmount. lol

Jane Duling (my pseudonym using family names--what do you think?)

Cathy Shouse said...

Hey, my good friend married a great guy whose last name is Arfman.

Uh, she kept her own name.....she went on to get a doctorate and have an awesome career so she might not have anyway, just sayin'

Debby Giusti said...

The James Dean Festival, Cathy. Really? How cool is that. He was before my time...well, almost. I was a babe. But the photos of that hunk of burning love. Wait...that was Elvis.

Anyway, how fun to think you almost played Ruthy while Mary was on radio. That would have been a hoot! But totally dishonest and nothing a Seeker or Seekervillager would ever do. Right?

Debby Giusti said...

Cathy, love the visual of your teen son taping the long line at your booksigning. That brought a smile to my tired lips! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Lady Sees Red? Yes, Helen, I like the title. Very cool! Very...well, red! :) Or would that be read?

Missy Tippens said...

I'm sorry I missed the party today! What a fun post, Mary. I totally cracked up. Had hubby read it as well--and head him laughing, too. :)

I can't wait for this book!!

Anonymous said...

aw man - this sounds interesting but I dont' think I can take it. I read a murder mystery a while back where a church secretary and jewish rabbi solve msyteries - this crazy dude was acting out stuff that happened during passover/easter and some of that was too descriptive for me..of course I want to read the next ones(Psalm 23 mysteries for anyone interested!) but I'm pretty weak with serial killer/psycho stuff...sure glad you used a different name!
of course if you're Jayne Ann Krentz with historical, contemporary, futuristic, parananormal and have a series that jumps around all 4...well we poor readers have to just read everything :-( otherwise we miss something...


Natalie Monk said...

Hi Mary! Ten Plagues looks GREAT!!!

I'm still thinking about whether to use a pseudonym or not. Monk is not a very romantic name, but it's mine. I told my mom I was thinking about a pen name and she was really disappointed. She said she wanted me to be all famous someday with my real name. LOL. I'm so undecided. This post has helped some though. Thanks!

OH! And I'm elated that you've shared your name pronunciation! Someone corrected me on it a while back, but it turns out I was right all along. Yay. LOL

Congrats on making the CBA online bestseller list!!

Donna Brennan said...

I enjoyed your article; it made me laugh. I was certain I was going to use a pen name for two different reasons: 1. Afraid some of the tough topics I plan to eventually write about might offend some of my non-Christian friends); and 2. I also write non-fiction. I was also considering using a different pen name for the YA stories I want to write.

But now I'm rethinking that whole pen name thing. The short things I'm getting published (both fiction and non) are with my real name. So why would I want to start all over with name-recognition type of stuff.

I'll just pray about it until it gets to the point where I must decide.

And your book sounds awesome, by the way.

Janet Kerr said...

Please enter me in the draw Mary. Your book sounds great & I like thrillers.
Thanks for the information on pseudonyms.

Cindy W. said...

Oh my, oh my. Mary writing something other than 'cowboy'. I've just got to read Ms. Nealy's book Ten Plagues. :)

Would love to be entered to win a copy.

Have a wonderful day in Seekerville!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


CB said...

Mary, I'm an aspiring writer struggling with many things,including using a pseudonym. Have not bought a Kindle yet, but after reading your great article along with viewing your book's time.

P.S.-Does Sparky Fairfield sound like a stripper? :-D

Peggy Rychwa said...

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Pseydonym was witty and wise. Enjoyable reading and practical advice. Thank you.

I would love to win a copy of your book.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Mary, I'm so psyched (in a good way :) ) about reading this book! I love romantic suspense as well as the westerns ... it's just icing on the cake that I can read both by one author. Also, thanks for the tips on the pseudonym - I'll keep that in mind when I branch out of my current historical romance/western genre. :) Blessings in your endeavors!

Andrea Strong said...

I love this post!

I too am a "scaredy cat," but I'd love to win this book...that is if I'm not too late. It is Friday now, after all.

andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

DeAnna Julie Dodson said...

Okay, I just came by to see your pen name advice and got this WONDERFUL bonus story to boot! Just keep telling that, and you'll sell a million copies of Ten Plagues.

Please enter me for your drawing, too!

Julianna Deering/DeAnna Julie Dodson