What's in a Name?

Posted by Mary Marvella | 1:48 AM | 13 comments »

What's in a name? As a writer I planned my perfect pen name. I chose to use my first and middle  names, Mary Marvella, since my married name, Barfield, didn't sound like a good name for a romance author.  Overby, my maiden name, didn't work for me, either.  I spent years planning and building my brand around that name. Mary Marvella has a nice ring to it, a New York editor told me that years ago. My southern friends like saying the names together.  It sounds southern and romantic.  I indie published using that name and edit under that name.

Well, times change and now I am with a publisher who publishes erotic romances. That means my readers who find the language of erotic fiction embarrassing shouldn't see my Facebook posts with explicit covers and language. Some of my Facebook "friends" use that language and the covers make even me blush. What could I do? How could I keep my readers and editing clients from being confused or offended. Then it hit me! Mary Marvella was a pen name and I could have another one.

What kind of name would be easy to remember and help my readers who want to cross over to the erotic side find me? I liked the MM thing, so I grabbed the maiden name of my daddy's mama, Mayfield. Her name was Melissa Marvella, so the name M M Mayfield seemed perfect! 

Look for me on Facebook as M M Mayfield, author, if you don't mind explicit covers and comments using language I don't usually write. I need my friends who write erotic language to support me and here they can. And my shy editing clients never need to know! They pay me now and I need them.
Look for my cover for Protective Instincts soon! 
Love, Lust, and Southern Comfort


  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM  

    MM, I certainly know what you are going through. I have works coming out from the same publisher and since I have friends who just wouldn't understand, I too have taken a pen name. Look for MJ Flournoy and you'll find me.

  2. Beth Trissel // July 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM  

    MM, I am too absentminded to remember a pen name. :) Good luck to you MM and Scarlet in your new identities.

  3. J.L. Murphey // July 7, 2013 at 6:42 PM  

    God luck and many wiggly, tingles Mary.

  4. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2013 at 9:45 PM  

    Thanks, Scarlet/MJ/Melba! We're in this together!

  5. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2013 at 9:48 PM  

    Beth, that was the reason I worked through the possibilities. I resisted adding a FB persona and a new email address! Good thing I keep a notebook! And I email everything to Melba in case I forget!

  6. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM  

    Thanks, Jo! We need to get together one of these days! We'll need a month to catch up.

  7. Barbara Monajem // July 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM  

    I didn't think I would be able to handle a pen name or two, so I just kept my real name. I think readers get confused because the two genres I write are quite different from one another.

    Good luck with your new name, MM!

  8. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2013 at 1:15 AM  

    Thanks, Barbara!

  9. Nightingale // July 8, 2013 at 4:02 PM  

    Mary, you are looking great. I swear you never age. I like the new pen name and wish MM Mayfield great success. You write great love scenes, so this should be a breeze for you!!

  10. Nightingale // July 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM  

    Scarlet, will look forward to MJ's books. Nice pen name.

  11. Mary Ricksen // July 8, 2013 at 4:55 PM  

    It doesn't matter what you call yourself. You are a terrific author and nothing else matters. However, I do like your pen name! Sell a million sweetie!

  12. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2013 at 8:49 PM  

    Thanks, Linda! You always make me feel good! The erotica editor didn't add anything to the love scenes!

  13. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2013 at 8:51 PM  

    Thanks, Mary R.! We have a lot of talent here, don't we? Here's hoping we all have great success! My grandma would probably agree, but not with the sexier stuff! I just won't tell her. Shhh.