Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

D. S. Moen vs. Deirdre Saoirse Moen

09 May 2014

Lis Mitchell asks:

Have any of my SF writing sisters ever considered writing with a neutral or masculine pseudonym? (Just curious what reasons, if so.)

Well, I do, but not to hide the fact that I’m female, though that is a side effect.
My reasons:

  1. When I was at Clarion, Patrick Nielsen Hayden sat down across from me one night and said, “You have three names, all of them difficult to spell.” My response? “You’re one to talk.” He had a point. Thus, my future submissions had the byline of D. S. Moen.
  2. Because, like the Nielsen Haydens, my last name is non-obviously compound, I realized that it would be easier to consistently ensure my readers could find my work on a shelf if my work were consistently shelvable. Then again, I did work at a bookstore that had a hangtag in the Ms that pointed out that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was shelved under “Garcia Marquez,” so I’m perhaps more aware of that issue than most.
  3. I realize that my name is not only difficult to spell, but difficult to pronounce, thus I felt it was easier. While I’m constantly bemused by people’s attempts to pronounce Saoirse (hint: “Sounds Like Weird” is a hint for pronouncing both Deirdre and Saoirse), I’m not cruel about it.

I love the ethnicity of my name.
I love the fact that Deirdre anagrams as: dire red.
I love that Saoirse anagrams as: a rose is.
I love that Moen anagrams as: omen.
All together: red rose is a dire omen.
Which is just awesome. I didn’t plan it, it just happened that way.

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