pseudonyms (wasRe: RARA-AVIS: Re: "Star-Stalker" by Robert Bloch)

From: hardcasecrime (
Date: 15 Mar 2008

DJ-Anonyme wrote:

> how do you decide when to use
> an author's pseudonym and when
> to use his real name in the
> books you publish? For example,
> why Richard Stark, but not
> Robert Kyle?

If an author is alive, we leave it up to him. I asked Robert Terrall, and he said he'd like to see the book come out under his real name. Don Westlake would probably have been fine either way, and in fact we used both names on the front cover ("Donald E. Westlake writing as Richard Stark"), but the book in question was part of the Parker universe, and the Parker books are known for having been written under the Stark name, so it would have felt wrong somehow not to have "Stark" on the spine.

In the case of a dead author, we generally go with the name that's better known -- so, Erle Stanley Gardner rather than A.A. Fair (though we did say "writing as A.A. Fair" on the front cover), and Cornell Woolrich rather than George Hopley.

I can't comment on *why* a given author prefers using either a pseudonym or his real name -- I'd need to be a psychologist for that. But wherever possible, we honor our authors' wishes.


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