Mustn’t be so girly

Somehow I can’t see Agatha Christie going along with something like this:

Scottish crime writer Shona MacLean has been forced to change her name — to S G MacLean — to make her novels more appealing to men.

The change follows the publication of three successful historical crime books under her full name. The title of her latest novel has also been truncated in its paperback form, to make it more punchy and eye-catching. Crucible of Secrets now appears simply as Crucible.

MacLean, niece to Alistair MacLean, professes not to be disturbed by this:

“The thinking was that my name was too soft and feminine and men wouldn’t buy my books. Now they have decided they want to make the covers more masculine and my name less obviously feminine… Crime books are more traditionally male, and my books have a male protagonist.”

Who would have thought there’d still be gender stereotyping in popular culture in 2012?

(Via this @syaffolee tweet.)


  1. Tatyana »

    28 April 2012 · 8:08 am

    What’s feminine in a name Shona? It’s rather ugly. I would have change it just to get away from association with vulgarity, illiteracy and pretension

  2. Follow the Money | Daily Pundit »

    28 April 2012 · 11:13 am

    […]I originally began writing under the name W.T. Quick in order not to take advantage of the gender stereotyping then present in the SF world. Later, I wrote several books under the name Margaret Allan […]

  3. McGehee »

    28 April 2012 · 12:38 pm

    Maybe the new initials-only byline will finally get her works onto my Kindle.

  4. Jeffro »

    28 April 2012 · 2:21 pm

    Good grief. Never have noticed that “manly” genres require manly authors. Does that mean science fiction authors all have to have names that are scientific?

  5. Mark Alger »

    29 April 2012 · 8:23 am

    I can’t believe that old wheeze is even correct, let alone still around.

    I would argue the opposite: you can tell that an author who only uses initials is a woman trying to hide her sex. Any aware reader would have to know that. If the sex of the author matters to a reader, the use of initials should be a deterrent, rather than an attractant.


RSS feed for comments on this post