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Forum nameFrequently Asked Questions About Louis L'Amour
Topic subjectPen Names-Tex , Jim, Sam etc.
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11, Pen Names-Tex , Jim, Sam etc.
Posted by Paul J ODell, Thu Sep-08-05 04:18 AM
In short, Louis used three pen names: TEX BURNS, JIM MAYO and SAM BRANT. Read on for more info.


Before the war, when Louis L'Amour was writing adventure and sports stories, nobody had any objections to his using his own name. But in the mid '40's, when he started trying to sell Westerns, he ran into trouble. The management at Better Publications did not believe they could sell Western stories by a writer named Louis L'Amour. Westerns had to be written by a man who could have been a cowboy and everybody knew that cowboys had short, tough-sounding names: Luke Short, Max Brand, Will Henry, Brett Hart, Zane Grey. They told him that no one with a name like Louis L'Amour could ever sell Westerns - it was too hard to pronounce, too soft sounding, it was too, well . . . foreign. Irritated at having to use a pseudonym, he chose Jim Mayo, the name he had originally created for the hero of his South Seas adventure series. The "Ponga Jim" Mayo stories had been written under his own name, and so there was at least a slight connection.


Louis L'Amour was also TEX BURNS. See the Hopalong Cassidy Question for more details.


SAM BRANT was a "house name" used by Thrilling Publication, a pulp magazine company with several "Thrilling" zines. Louis wrote two stories for them:

"No Trouble for the Cactus Kid" in the December 1947 issue of Texas Rangers (reprinted in Buckskin Run)

"Medicine Ground" in the April 1948 issue of Texas Rangers (reprinted in Valley of the Sun)