Lyon's Pen

Official Website for Fantasy Author E.L. Lyons

Pen Names?

When I was first considering publishing, I had to make a decision on whether to use my real name or a pen name. And there were a lot of factors I considered, wanting to keep my personal life separate from my writing life was one, what would fit the genre and look good on a cover was another. Pronunciation was a smaller factor. Most people don’t pronounce my name as my parents did/do, and I don’t correct them. Still, it irks some small part of me to hear it wrong.

Nothing about my real name looks or sounds like it belongs with a fantasy book. However, I didn’t want to just pick a “cool” name at random. 

The Right Time and Place

I have been blessed in many ways that enabled me to produce this book. Having dysgraphia, it simply would not have been possible for me to be taken seriously as a writer before computers were commonplace. My father also had dysgraphia, in a time when they didn’t diagnose such things in schools, and he loved to write. I have some of his old poems and scribblings, and I often wonder what he could have done if he’d had the support and technology I have. But I couldn’t exactly call myself Steve.

On the other side of the family, my maternal great grandmother also wanted to be a writer. She even took distance correspondence classes for writing—snail mail college—after she retired. She wrote plays for a local women’s group and wrote short stories in her free time. But again, she was born in the wrong time and place, and her life didn’t allow for her to pursue that dream further. Rural West Virginia and rural Kentucky for a mother of six in the Great Depression was not exactly an ideal setup for a writer. Her last name was Lyon—no s. I grew up hearing lovely stories about “Grandma Lyon” and how she wrote, put on plays at the local theater, played piano for silent movies, sold day-old bread, and was the local postmistress in a mining town. She was snarky and bold.

My Grandmary (her daughter) and I took a road trip to visit all the places they’d lived. We visited a dark tunnel under a railroad track that she used to walk through with a bag of money to get home after closing shop in town. Braver than me by miles!

So I decided on Lyon, and then, to make life a little easier, I added an “s” to the end and made the initials the nickname I already carry in my normal life, “El.” E.L. Lyons.

The Lyon's Pen

Then I had to start making social media, which was intimidating for a hermit like myself. I spend most of my time in my cozy den, writing or praying or a mix of the two. Life had been throwing a lot at me, but somehow I was still thriving and progressing, at peace with the issues I was dealing with. I felt very much like Daniel in the lion’s den, confident that the bad in my life would not consume me so long as I continued to pray faithfully. And that impression wove its way into my rewriting and editing. So, the Lyon’s Pen seemed a fitting name for my website and my social media accounts. Even through life’s difficulties, I’ve never been alone in the lions’ den, and like Daniel, I’ve always come out of my troubles better for it.

That my den is filled with the sassy and derpy descendants of lions adds a layer of humor for me as well.

More Thoughts from the Pen