Brand Fans -> General Discussion about Max Brand -> why so many pen names?

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Jack Max Brand seems like such a mysterious personality. He is among the most prolific writers, but little is known about his life and he used so many different pen names. Does anyone on this list know anything about why he did this. He seems like such a fascinating person.

WillHR Hi Jack. Yeah, I've thought about why Faust wrote under so many different names. While I've never read a definitive answer, I can speculate.

I know he was one of the most prolific authors ever, able to produce about 75 publishable pages a day (and he only wrote in the afternoons, for about 4 hours, spending his mornings writing poetry). To give you some context for how amazing this volume is, Elmore Leonard considers himself lucky to produce 2 publishable pages a day.

When you're producing that much output, you don't want to flood the market with your product. It would bring down its value. Also, if you're dabbling with different types of stories, you'll want readers who may not care for one type to try another.

I believe it's this type of thinking that was behind Faust's many pseudonyms.


MarylandBill I know this is a few years late, but it might help answer the question.

In the days of the pulps, it was actually pretty common for more prolific authors to use multiple pen names. It wasn't even a question of flooding the market, it was often a question of being able to sell more than one story to the same publication at the same time. Pulps thrived on presenting their readers with a variety of authors, and filling an issue with stories by a single author would not help their sales. Sometimes these pen names were used with the knowledge of the publisher, sometimes without their knowledge.

It is also possible that Faust wanted to save his real name for his poetry.

Laura I have to wonder if he got other writers to write for him. I just read my first Max Brand book, THE GUN TAMER and I have to say I was sure the author was female. I do know from personal experience in reverse a man can feel as strong and universal inside to write as a woman so I do think he could have written this book but the prolificness kind of makes one wonder if he could physically do so. If not, and he got other writers that would explain it and I'd have to say THE GUN TAMER was written by a woman. If it was imagine that poor woman's talent being lost to history. Maybe it was his wife?
April I came to this website because my friend is interested to find other books that are not a Western genre written by this author.