Miss Garbo, I presume?

Hello Miss Snark,

When do you tell your agent that you want to write under a pseudonym? When you query do you sign off as :so and so aka. so and such? Or not even tell them at all what your real name is and when it comes time to be paid: "Oh by the way could you make the check available to..."?

Um, you better sign your real name to my offer for representation or we're gonna have a talk about the fundamentals of fraud. This is not a talk you will enjoy.

Tell me who you are. If you write under a different name, you can put:

Stepen King
(writing as S.K. Inkslinger)

so I can see what you're doing. If you don't ever intend to tell me your real name, we have big problem cause I have to write you checks that you can cash AND fill out little forms for the IRS that require me to affirm this form is correct or face prison time. Now, Miss Snark is as fond of caged heat movies as the next gal, but she doesn't want to star in them.

So, tell me who you are, let me know you're writing under a pen name, and let me get busy making you rich and anonymously famous.


Jena said...

Obviously different in the U.S., but in Canada, as long as there is no intent to defraud, you can use any name you like. I could call myself Killer Yapp, get checks made out to me as Killer Yapp, sign contracts as Killer Yapp, etc., as along as I report all my Killer Yapp income at tax time, under my real name and Social Insurance Number.

However, if I claim I'm a handsome male poodle living in New York, Miss Snark and the lovely and talented real Killer Yapp have every legal right to sue my non-canine a$$ off.

Alan Morgan said...

I was told a while back that in the states you can file paperwork to assume a legal alias, which is granted it's own Social Security ID (linked to your SSID). It's similar to a name change, with the exception that both are valid.

I've been googling around to try to find more info on it, but the closest I've found is information on DBA/FBNs (Doing Business As / Fictitious Business Names). Which, while they could be used by a writer, don't get a SSID. A separate tax id, maybe, but not a social security card.