Here's a question that your discussion of roman a clef prompted.
What's your thinking about pseudonyms?
It seems that it would help preserve the confidentiality of the characterizations. Since the
characters couldn't be linked to an indentifiable author observer, there's an added layer of protection.
Moreover, when writing about or drawing from your working life, your name on a book could lead to various tensions with colleagues and bosses. (I guess that's an occupational hazard for many writers. Some won't get fired, they'll just piss off their families and friends.)
Also, for some author egos, narcissism is more satisfied by anonymous fame (or lack thereof.)
What about marketing?
It would be tougher to put your face out there on Oprah, unless she agreed to a shadow silhouette.
In the case of Primary Colors, the pseudonymous authoring enhanced the PR when it became a great guessing game about who wrote it.
Do any of your authors get to publish anonymously?
What do you and publishers think about it?
Three words: John Twelve Hawks. Talk about grist for the snark mills.
Snarklings, don't worry about any of this. Just write. We'll figure this stuff out if and when someone coughs up some money for you.
This is like writing Mrs George Clooney in copperplate all over my chem II notebooks at Sister Whoopi Convent For Wayward Snarklings. It's all fine and dandy to think about but right now, it's a moot point.
Use all this creative energy to write something you'll WANT to put your name on.