Pen Names: Lauren Clark to Laura McNeill

I’m often asked why I decided to use a pen name (Lauren Clark) when I began writing. And now that Center of Gravity is being published by Harper Collins July 14th, 2015, I’m often asked why I’m going back to my real name (Laura McNeill) for this release!

The answers are simple … and the latter is kind of amusing!

Lauren Clark


Low and behold, there was another author who shared my (**at the time, married) name, but her specialty was erotica!

Though erotica is a very popular genre, since my novel was Southern fiction (sweet romance and clean enough that my grandmother could read it), I decided that coming up with a pen name was the best way to set my novel apart!

My mom and I brainstormed names and decided on “Lauren Clark,” as Clark is a family name on my grandmother’s side and Lauren was close to Laura. The pen name has worked very well, and I’ve released four novels and one short story using it!

Laura McNeill


In our initial discussions, my publishing team talked with me at length about using my real name for Center of Gravity.

Since Center of Gravity is a significantly different genre than my previous novels, we decided that using Laura McNeill would be a great way to define the books as domestic suspense/family drama.

What do you think about pen names? Do you follow any authors who write under different personas? 

~ Laura

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