There are a lot of good reasons that a writer may choose to use a pen name (also known as a pseudonym or nom de plume). Reasons vary, from privacy to writing in different genres to wanting to get a new start in the writing world.
There’s also the reason of not wanting to get confused with another writer—especially in my case.
It’s a good idea to find out if any other writers share your name, anyway. You don’t want your work to get mixed up with someone else’s.
That idea is tripled, though, when someone with your name also happens to write erotica.
No, that’s not a joke. There’s another writer who writes under my real name (“writes under” because she chose my real name for her pseudonym), and works in the genre of erotica.
It’s kind of funny, actually. Having done freelance writing (under my real name, since those pieces are also a part of my work portfolio), I feel it’s best to have any fiction published under a pen name, anyway. This situation just makes it all the more necessary. 🙂