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V.V. or Varina? Which Author Name Should I Use?

June 3, 2014

vvdenman vv

When I started writing five years ago, I thought long and hard about using a pen name. I settled on V.V. Denman. (Which isn’t truly a pseudonym since those are my for-real initials.)

It seemed like a great idea at the time.

Reason #1 – People have trouble with Varina and confuse Denman with Denham. But V.V. is super simple.

Reason #2 – Someday, I might be nauseatingly famous and desire a bit of anonymity.

Vanity check on that last one!

Let’s do the math:

Only a fraction of humans actually read books. Of those, a small percentage enjoy inspirational romance, and a mere handful will choose Jaded.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough anonymity to stay humble.

And when I asked my writer-people for their advice on real vs pseudo me?

“Varina is more personal.”
“V.V. doesn’t suit the romance genre as well as Varina.”
“It doesn’t really matter. Do whatever you want, girl!”

Problem is, I don’t know what I want.

So, I’m putting it to you. What do you think? V.V. or Varina?

Comment below. Or on Facebook or Twitter or email or carrier pigeon.

vvdenman varina

Click here to read more about my debut novel, Jaded!


Photo credits: V.V. Girl:, stockimages, Varina Guys:, btrfly614

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Chaundel permalink
    June 3, 2014 3:18 pm

    I definitely go with the boys in the picture! VARINA! Much warmer and more personal – especially for a romance novel.

    • June 3, 2014 4:51 pm

      Aren’t they cute? It’s amazing what you can find on the internet. Thanks for your input, Chaundel!

  2. June 3, 2014 4:29 pm

    I’d go with Varina. It’s unique and cute and YOU. There is something settling about using the name you usually go by, even if the pen name is a-l-m-o-s-t your name.😉

    • June 3, 2014 4:49 pm

      I wondered about that, D’Ann. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to being called V.V.

  3. June 3, 2014 4:39 pm

    I would go with V.V., but then I know what a handful Varina can be. People would just end up saying, “you know that author whose name starts with a V.”

    • June 3, 2014 4:47 pm

      Exactly. It’s been that way my entire life.🙂 But you would understand perfectly.

  4. Christi King permalink
    June 3, 2014 4:56 pm

    I would go with Varina…I think it’s memorable. After all these years, I still remember you and Varina Presswood from church because of your unique name. I wish you much success on your writing career. I can’t wait to read Jaded…

  5. Ann Tunnell permalink
    June 4, 2014 8:37 am

    I’ve always liked V.V. Denman and was ready to vote accordingly. Then I read your note of being called V.V. (VeeVee?). Varina has a romantic appeal, but I still love seeing ‘V.V. Denman’. It’s unique. But then, so is Varina. If I can be of more help, please let me know! P.S. I still vote for V.V., it’s what I see on a book cover.

    • June 4, 2014 9:24 am

      It’s a difficult decision. There’s good and bad either way.🙂 Thanks, Ann!

  6. June 4, 2014 8:39 am

    Be your wonderful self. Use your wonderful name and know that, one day, there will be an abundance of cute little girls named Varina after the famous author.
    If you MUST have a pen name, I submit Z.Z. Denim (like I said on fb). Just for fun, you could even start a fb page under that name! Hahahahaha!🙂
    Best wishes for a successful novel, however you define success!

    • June 4, 2014 9:26 am

      Yes, I could start a new trend in girl names! Ha ha. For real, my author friend, Candace Calvert, named one of her secondary characters Varina. Everyone called her Vee. So maybe it’s already begun.😀

  7. June 4, 2014 12:46 pm

    I think it should be what you are called. If friends wouldn’t call you V.V., then I’d stick with Varina. It’s OK — in fact, better, in my opinion — that it’s an unusual name. It’s beautiful. Picture yourself being introduced always as V.V., say, before you give a speech or interview. Would you feel the need to then say, “You can call me Varina?” In this internet age, anonymity/privacy is pretty much unheard of, even if you use a different name for your public face. I, personally, would do with whichever name feels most authentically you.

I monitor comments to ensure nothing is posted that is hurtful or damaging. Thanks for understanding.

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