Want to be an author? You should probably think about going by your first and middle initials. A surprising number of writers have struck literary gold while remaining semi-anonymous by using initials instead of full names. Here are a handful of them – and some of the reasons why they opted to drop their given names.
1. E.B. White (pictured) – Elwyn Brooks
2. A.A. Milne – Alan Alexander
3. C.S. Lewis – Clive Staples. Apparently Lewis never liked his given name. It’s often said that he assumed the name of a beloved dog named Jacksie after it was hit by a car, but his brother has a different story to tell about how the name came to be:
Then, in the course of one holiday, my brother made the momentous decision to change his name. Disliking “Clive”, and feeling his various baby-names to be beneath his dignity, he marched up to my mother, put a forefinger on his chest, and announced “He is Jacksie”. he stuck to this next day and thereafter, refusing to anwer to any other name: Jacksie it had to be, a name contracted to Jacks and then to Jack. So to his family and his intimate friends, he was Jack for life: and Jack he will be for the rest of this book.
4. H.G. Wells – Herbert George
5. H.P. Lovecraft – Howard Phillips
6. J.D. Salinger – Jerome David. As a kid, however, most people called him “Sonny.”
7. F. Scott Fitzgerald – Francis. Actually, it was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, and no, the name wasn’t a coincidence. He was named after that Francis Scott Key, the one who wrote The Star Spangled Banner. They were second cousins, three times removed.
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