July 13, 2022 at 12:21 pm

6 Famous Authors Who Never Actually Existed

by Matthew Gilligan

Yes, believe it or not, there are a number of famous authors who didn’t actually exist…for one reason or another…

Kinda wild, isn’t it?!?!

Here are 6 famous writers who weren’t real…read on to see who we’re talking about.

1. Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew books have seemingly been around forever and an author named Carolyn Keene’s name has always been attached to the series.

But these books were actually created by a man named Edward Stratemeyer who always penned Hardy Boys books. Stratemeyer wrote outlines for Nancy Drew books before he passed away in 1930 and then a woman named Mildred Wirt Benson took over.

Benson wrote 23 books in the series and then other writers stepped in. The story behind the Carolyn Keene pseudonym didn’t come out until 1980.


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2. Ellery Queen

Mystery books were published with Ellery Queen as the author (and the main character) but in reality, these books were the work of two men, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee.

The series was highly popular and many Ellery Queen books were published between 1929 and 1971. If “Ellery Queen” was invited to speak in public, Manfred Lee would wear a mask so as not to give away his identity.

3. Richard Stark

The man behind the pseudonym Richard Stark who wrote 23 books about a fictional thief named Parker was actually author Donald E. Westlake.

Westlake wrote under several different names so he could make deals with publishers to write more than one book per year.


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4. Betty Crocker

Did you know about this?!?!

The legendary Betty Crocker is, well, a crock.

The famous cookbook writer was actually made up by the Washburn-Crosby Company (later known as General Mills) and was named after William G. Crocker who was once director of the company.


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5. Erin Hunter

The popular Warrior Cats book series is actually written by a team of people, not this Erin Hunter character.

The series was outlined by Vicky Holmes in 2003 and later Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry took over and completed the narrative.

Since then, other writers have written for the series.

6. Richard Bachman

You’ve heard of the guy behind the Richard Bachman books before…it’s Stephen King!

King wrote books for 8 years under this pseudonym and the ruse was only figured out when a bookstore employee noticed the similarities between Bachman and King’s style and wrote to King’s agent.

King wrote as Bachman so he could release more than one book a year…until he was figured out.

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