As a lot of writers/artists/musicians/artsy-fartsy people may already know, these is creepy times. I guess for writers etc it's always been creepy times, but there have been things that have protected them from the creepies. I am most definitely talking about pen names.
I won't give you a history lesson on pen names (even though I have the inching to), but I do find them fascinating in the sense that I find names fascinating (because names are words, and words are cool). I think the most beneficial use of a pen name these days are the protection it gives an author. There is just something about having your full, real name out in the world that is just very vulnerable. I'm not a big fan of the vulnerable.
Then again, opposite this, there is something about claiming your work as yours that I also like. When I use my real name to sign a piece of work, it's mine. Mine. Nobody else gets to have it.
So, will I, do I have a pen name? Yes and no. I do have a pen name that I thought long and hard about that I've been using on FictionPress mostly because at the time I didn't want to use my real name and get mauled. My pen name: Maria T. Allen. For some reason I think long names are pretty and it took off of my full name that I use having that middle initial. The name is a conglomerate of some family names etc. I like it, it's shiny.
Would I use my pen name if I got published? I don't know. I think Terri M. Moore looks really nice and I like it. However, for protection I would go with something else if I had to. I wonder how many of the author out there are using their real names? I know Stephenie Meyer is a pen name, but I think only in the last name and spelling. Stephen King wrote under a couple, etc. Who knows what other authors are really using their real names. It's a world of mystery to me.