30 October 2017

Pseudonyms: Collective Author Names

A collective name, also known as a house name, is sometimes used with series fiction published under one pen name even though more than one author may have contributed to the series.

In some cases the first books in the series were written by one writer, but subsequent books were written by ghostwriters. For instance, many of the later books in The Saint adventure series were not written by Leslie Charteris, the series' originator.


From my own childhood reading days, I learned that the Hardy Boys mystery books were not all written by Franklin W. Dixon, though they are all published under that name.

My sister read the similarly pen-named Nancy Drew mystery books which are published as though they were written by one Carolyn Keene.

The Bobbsey Twins series are credited to Laura Lee Hope, although several authors have been involved in each series.

Erin Hunter, the real name of the author of the Warriors novel series, is also a collective pen name used by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui T. Sutherland, and the editor Victoria Holmes.

Collaborative authors may have also their works published under a single pen name. Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee were cousins who published their co-written mystery novels and stories under the pen name Ellery Queen. It was also the name of their fictional detective, and they also published the work of ghost-writers under the same name.

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