Is it advisable for a historical fiction writer to have a pen name consisting of only their first and middle name? I have seen a couple of authors not use any last name (Thirzah from the Company being one of them), but they wrote in a different genre than I do. I have heard that it can matter what your pen name looks like on the book (as a marketing issue). I thought that a historical fiction book would need to have a full first and last name to look serious and stately. Though I think it would be cool to have the possibility to use only my first and middle name as my pen name. Advice?
Such a good question!
There is no specific convention for historical fiction authors to have a particular format to their name. From a marketing standpoint, it really doesn’t matter, if you use your middle name, no one will know that it’s not your last name.
My general advice is to not use a pen name, with some pretty specific exceptions. There is a base of people who already know your name, you should take advantage of that! Exactly zero people will recognize your pen name when you first use it.
Thirzah is an exception, because both her first and last name are difficult to spell and pronounce. Her first name is unique enough that she can get away with just using the one name, and people that already know her will right away still make the connection. Using only a single name is a very bold move in most circumstances.
To sum up, unless there’s a really compelling exception, use your real first and last name as your author name.