Amused Authors

Guest Author: Dellani Oakes by ~ Me ~
April 25, 2009, 5:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A Rose By Any Other Name

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ Shakespeare

lindlae_parish_photo-171x247Talk on the publisher’s list serve this week sparked this article. One of the new authors, as yet unpublished, was asking if we thought she should use a pseudonym. As several of us use them, but many don’t, we were all giving our reasons for our decision to use a pen name.

I chose to write under an assumed name because of my husband’s job. My real first name is quite distinctive and there aren’t many people with our last name around. Rather than attract the wrong element, I decided to use a different name.

One of our other authors also pointed out, “If I don’t do well with this name, I can ‘kill’ her off and use either my own name or another name to continue writing.” Many of us also said that given the fact we write romance, sometimes very specific and detailed love scenes, that using an assumed name might make life easier for our children, parents, husbands, etc. Not that my historical romance, “Indian Summer” has hot love scenes, it doesn’t. However, some of my novels, as yet unpublished, do.

Others of us chose not to use pseudonyms, and that’s perfectly fine. It is a personal choice whether or not to use a pseudonym and is a decision that needs to be based on the author’s own set of circumstances. If my husband had a different job, I’d use my own name, but this gives me a feeling of security. (False though it may be.)

I would recommend the use of a pseudonym if the author has a common last name. John Smith or Tom Jones might want to consider an assumed name to avoid confusion. There is also no need to change both names. A simple shift of first or last name can make all the difference. Use a mother’s maiden name, your maiden name, family pet, favorite color…. The list of choices is endless. For myself, I took the letters of my own name and rearranged them to get Dellani. The name Oakes is a family name several generations back. I liked it better than some of the other choices: Butcher or Sexton. Maybe not gonna send the right literary message, ya think?

So, to a budding author who is struggling with the decision to nym or not to nym, I suggest keeping it simple by using your own name unless circumstances preclude it.


Dellani Oakes is the author of “Indian Summer” published by Second Wind Publishing available through the publisher or

Dellani Oakes has lived in Florida since 1989. During her first visit to St. Augustine, Florida, she fell in love with the city. Her admiration for the early Spanish settlers turned into inspiration for her novel, “Indian Summer”, available from Second Wind Publishing.

Although she rejected most of the original draft, certain aspects of the tale remained. For instance, it is told in first person by the youngest daughter of the Spanish Governor, Gabriella Deza. Years of research went into the background of the story, as well as several trips to St. Augustine to immerse herself in the history and feel of the ancient city.

“Indian Summer” is as much an adventure as it is a romance. Replete with spies, intrigue, mystery, enigmatic Indians and just a little bit of lust, it is a tale with something for everyone. “Indian Summer” is Dellani’s first published novel. Her second novel, “The Lone Wolf” is a science fiction adventure set in the distant future. “The Lone Wolf” is due for release in 2009. Dellani is currently working on a sequel to “Indian Summer” called “Savage Heart”. Be looking for it soon from Second Wind Publishing.

Dellani is a former A.P. English teacher, editor and newspaper columnist. She is now a substitute teacher, author and Mary Kay lady. Which means she can instruct a classroom full students, correct your grammar and give you makeup and skin care advice, all without breaking a sweat.

Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes

dellani22In the spring of 1739, Gabriella Deza stands poised on the verge of womanhood. A product of her guarded upbringing, she is naive in the ways of love until dashing Manuel Enriques declares his love for her. Quite by accident, Gabriella uncovers a plot hatched by British spy whose job is to capture the town and fort, Castillo de San Marcos. Armed with her information, Manuel embarks on a dangerous mission to entrap the spy and save the town from being overthrown by the British. Unfortunately, Gabriella herself is caught in the trap and kidnapped. Can Manuel find and save her before it is too late?

Learn more about Dellani Oakes by visiting her websites here and here.

Purchase Indian Summer here.


60 Comments so far
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Although I ended up publishing under my own name, I did toy with the idea of a pen name for quite some time. My husband is a pastor, so I didn’t want to offend anyone with my sex scenes. In the end, I was just too elated to be published to hide the news from anyone – sex scenes or no. So here I am, still Sherrie Hansen, proud author of Night and Day, selling like hot cakes to my friends, family and customers of the Blue Belle Inn, my B&B, and hopefully to others, too!

Comment by Sherrie Hansen

Nice article Dellani. I chose to use pseudonym. Sia is my family nick-name. McKye is a family name as well. I liked McKye better than McMillan or Geer, all family names, so I went with that. I agree, keep it simple.

I like the premise of your book, sounds fascinating. 🙂

Comment by ~Sia McKye~

I chose to write under my own name, also, even with my past life with a sheriff’s dept. Your book sounds like it was written by someone from your by-gone era and I can’t wait to finish it!

Comment by christinehusom

I think it is very wise to use a pen name. We choose to do so because we had small children. My grandson then turned around and said that he could not brag about his grandma because he didn’t have the same last name. LOL

Comment by April Robins

Thanks for the comments, ladies. And thank you to Dara for hosting for me today. April, that was my one drawback too. I talk about my book, hand out bookmarks, etc. People look at them and say “Dellani? Who?” Oh, well. If my husband ever gets a different job, I’ll consider using my own.

Comment by dellanioakes

What a plain name i have,maybe i should change it….But then i would probably get mixed up with a new name.after 82years…and would wonder who i am at times…on reflection i think i will stay plain Barbie Smith..and leave it to you young uns.

must read your book.Indian sounds interesting.

Comment by Barbie Smith

Very interested to read your article Delani, and why you chose to use a psuedonym. Sorry I didn’t comment earlier.

I will have to read Indian Summer, it sounds really good.

Comment by Ann Stanmore

Thank you Ann & Barbie – I hope you are able to read my book and that you enjoy it. I’m working on a sequel right now called “Savage Heart”. I’m not sure when it will be out, I’m boggled in research at the moment. I hope to have it finished by August.

Comment by dellanioakes

Well, August has come & gone, and “Savage Heart” isn’t done yet. I ran into some research snags, but have some new information that might do the trick. Otherwise, minor rewrite will take care of the problem. I’ve let myself get distracted from the story & need to get back to it. The characters are calling!

Comment by dellanioakes

Bob, I’m not sure I understand your comment at all. I assure you, my story isn’t like that. For starters, it’s Native Americans, not Asian Indians. It’s set in Florida in 1739 and has nothing derogatory to say about the Indian tribe whatsoever. In fact, I treated their culture with the respect they deserve. They were a proud and mighty race who lived all throughout Florida. Unfortunately, they died out in the late 1770’s. If you actually read my book before commenting on it, you might find that out.

Comment by Dellani Oakes


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