Sunday, March 10, 2013

Special Guest Sunday- Aurelia B Rowl & Allie A Burrow

Hello everyone,

Please help me welcome Aurelia B Rowl & Allie A Burrow to my blog this week for Special Guest Sunday!  (Pssst... they are actually the same person) As she talks about pen names.


What’s in a name?

I've come across a few blogs and 'expert' opinions since I started writing which suggest using a pen name is more hassle than it's worth and, quite frankly, a bit of a waste of time. They (that invisible group that have an opinion on everything) recommend you use your real name, or at least a form of it, because using a pen means you're more afraid of failure. Or something like that anyway... 

So why do I use a pen name? Is it because I am trying to hide my real identity?

No, not at all, I'd say a large percentage of followers on both Facebook and my main blog could tell you my real name. I'm not ashamed of writing romance, I'm not embarrassed or desperate to keep it at arm's length, it just works better for me.

Why then?

It's for a few reasons really...

One reason is to add an extra screen, a layer of privacy, to keep my writing persona one step removed from my real life persona. If somebody Google's my real name to find out more about my role as a school governor, or in relation to any other aspect of my life, for example, my political affiliation or religious beliefs (or any other potentially contentious stuff usually banned from the dinner table), I don't want them to come face to face with an excerpt from one of my steamier romance novels.

Another reason is to protect my young children. I have my private profile on Facebook where I can happily post photos and talk about them. Yes, I can apply privacy settings (and do!) but even so, other users can see the pages I like or places I check into amongst other things, so it made sense for me to create a profile for my Facebook alter-ego. On the flipside, it also gives my children the option to distance themselves from the writer 'me'. They can choose to acknowledge what I do or deny all knowledge because it's not my 'mummy' name printed on the covers of my novels, which could be embarrassing for them when they're older, especially now Allie is on the scene.

If you have been following me on Facebook for a while, you may have been one of the many voters who helped me choose an alternate pen name – yes, another one! – so that I can keep the more erotic stories away from the contemporary romance and young adult stories. It added an extra division between the two personas so that I don't have to make my 'Aurelia' Page over 18, which would be counter-productive when I am in the throes of writing a Young Adult romance.

And then there's the issue with my actual name being unisex. Seeing as I'm a romance author, I don't really want to be mistaken for a man. Not that I think men can't write romance, it's just that many will adopt a female pen name to do it.

But don't I want to see MY name on the cover of a book?

This will sound crazy, but it is my name being published. Huh?

Have you seen those pictures where there's a printed message and you're supposed to be super brainy if you can read it because of how your brain interprets the right words even though the letters are mixed up? Well, it's just like that. In fact, when I first adopted it, friends didn't even realise they weren't seeing my actual name because their brain saw the letters they were expecting to see, even though they were out of order, and rearranged them automatically. Yes, my pen name is an anagram of my real name so it is my name on the cover, it just so happens the letters are a bit jumbled up.

Isn't it hard work keeping two Facebook profiles going?

Nope, not really, especially since a friend suggested using two different browsers to have Facebook open, one for each persona so I can log into Facebook as BOTH profiles at once. I'm just kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner. It works a charm for Goodreads and Twitter too.

I had the foresight to create my alter ego as soon as I decided to try my hand as a writer so it's been there right from day one and it's like a uniform I put on when it's time to work. Similarly, I can take the hat off when it's time to be 'mummy'.

I've encouraged all of my real-life friends befriend my alter ego but if they don't want to, that's fine, and by having a separate profile for my professional stuff, I'm not ramming my writing updates down their throats all the time. The visibility is still set to ‘friends’ only – which is generally family, friends and fellow writers – and I try to steer readers and fans to like my Facebook pages instead, where I can control the content and who can sees it (e.g. Allie is set that you can’t see it unless you are over 19).

All the silly anecdotes of my life are there for public consumption, but I use codenames for my children instead of their real names. I am still me on my alter-ego Pages, I behave exactly the same and saying the same kind of things I'd say with my real hat on, so there's not much difference.

What are the drawbacks?

I have a rule that I will only take ‘Aurelia’ up to a heat level of 2 (borderline 3 in the case of Christmas is Cancelled) but the creation of ‘Allie’ now means that anything with more explicit adult content now has somewhere it can go too. Whereas I had to turn away guests before on my blog because of the nature of the content, I can now welcome them with open arms.

Even though I don’t intend to write as ‘Allie’ very often – being the result of a personal challenge to step outside my comfort zone – my ‘Allie’ blog is just as busy as my ‘Aurelia’ blog, running the same features on alternate weeks. The only major difference is that when posting as ‘Allie’ I will happily shout about ‘Aurelia’ and encourage readers to check out my other persona, but when writing as ‘Aurelia’, I tend to distance myself from ‘Allie’, just to be on the safe side.

Of course, by writing across three (so far!) different genres, I couldn’t help but make things that little harder for myself, and it does mean I now have to maintain two websites, three blogs, two Facebook pages (three if you include Serviced), and two twitter profiles. Not to mention my separate Goodreads profiles, Google+ pages, Pinterest, Amazon etc.

I’d like to think I stay on top of it all though, and because of the YA vs. erotica thing, I do believe it is necessary. I know I’m not the only one who uses two pen names because at least two other author friends instantly spring to mind.

Over to you...

What are your views on pen names?

Would you have done things differently, if you were me?

Do you write under a pen name or do you think they are unnecessary?

If you do have a pen name, how did you choose it and why did you decide to use one?

About the author...
Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance and young adult author, but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.

Aurelia lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 6 and 4, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project... or five!... and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.

Writing as Aurelia B Rowl, Christmas is Cancelled, was released by Breathless Press on 21 December 2012. Just a few months later, Allie A Burrow debuted with her short story, For One Night Only, featured in the Serviced anthology and released by Breathless Press on 1 March 2013.

Christmas is Cancelled
by Aurelia B Rowl

Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…

As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.

Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…

Available from:

iTunes – coming soon

Connect with Aurelia at:

Serviced: Volume One
feat. Allie A Burrow

All's fair in love and war, they say. Come find out if it's true in these ten stories where soldiers prove that their skills in the field are only rivaled by their skills in the bedroom.

For One Night Only

Kate Powell only went and fell for the soldier she’d met just once before he had to jet off on a year-long posting overseas.

Seven months in, and Kate is hornier than a blue wildebeest in mating season with only her battery-powered friend for relief. Her skills as a pen-pal scale new heights, but then a text message arrives out of the blue.

Corporal Mark Butler is back in the country for one night only, and Kate isn’t about to let the opportunity pass her by. After all, who needs a vibrator when the real thing comes calling?

Available from:

Barnes & Noble – coming soon
iTunes – coming soon

Connect with Allie at:


Thank you so much Aurelia/Allie for stopping by!  

If you have any thoughts/comments you would like to add to this discussion, please comment below.  I would love to hear what other people have to say about pen names!

Also, on a side note, I haven't had a chance to read Christmas is Cancelled yet, it's on my TBR (to-be-read) pile, but I have read the Serviced Anthology Volume 1, and it is hot, hot, hot!  Sometimes you may not have time to read a longer story in one sitting, but with an anthology it is easy to read in small slices.  Great for those of us with busy lives, when we don't seem to be able to get a break sometimes.  Taking a few minutes for yourself and indulge in one of these stories featuring those in uniform.  It'll be well worth it.


  1. Great post!
    I chose a pen name for a similar reason however I believe the most important thing is to choose a name you can bond with. I played around with several before I came up with Téa Cooper which is actually my maiden name and middle name. Much to my amusement have discovered I now answer to it 'in real life'. In fact my family and friends call me either or both depending on the situation!
    But there is no way I could field two, not that organised, so Téa writes contemporary and historical.

  2. Good post! I agree on most of your reasons for using pen names.I write different genres and have more than 2. Though it takes time managing them I wouldn’t change a thing. :)