Pseudonymous Bosch

Pseudonymous Bosch (/ˈsdənɪməs bɒʃ, bɔːʃ, bɔːs/) is the pen name of Raphael Simon (born October 25, 1967), the author of The Secret Series and The Bad Books series of fiction books, as well as The Unbelievable Oliver chapter book mysteries and two stand-alone titles. He has written 12 books, each widely read.[1]

Raphael Simon
Born (1967-10-25) October 25, 1967 (age 54)
Pen namePseudonymous Bosch
PartnerPhillip de Leon
ParentsRoger L. Simon

Personal lifeEdit

Raphael Simon was born on October 25, 1967 to writers Dyanne Asimow and Roger L. Simon.[note 1][2] He was born in Los Angeles County, California.[4] His brother, Jesse, is a visual artist.[2] He also has significantly younger half-sister, Madeleine, from his father's third marriage.[5]

Simon attended Yale,[citation needed] where he came out as homosexual when he was 20 years old.[6] Later he earned an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine.[citation needed] He currently lives in Pasadena, California with his husband, Phillip de Leon.[7] They have twin children, who were born in 2008.[7]

Professional careerEdit

Bosch had long been suspected to be the author Raphael Simon, although Bosch disputed this until he "came out" as Simon in a May 8, 2016, editorial in The New York Times.[8]

The pseudonym plays off that of the artist Hieronymus Bosch.[citation needed] It also may play off the fictional Los Angeles detective, Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch, also named after the artist, created by the author Michael Connelly, and who has appeared in several of his novels starting in 1992.[citation needed]

Prior to becoming a novelist, Simon worked as a screenwriter, including as a staff writer on the Nickelodeon series Rocket Power. He started writing his first novel, The Name of this Book Is Secret, as a series of letters to a fourth-grader. It was published in 2007, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe award for best juvenile mystery. A sequel followed in 2008: If You're Reading This It's Too Late. Eventually there would be five titles in the Secret Series. The New York Times bestselling series has sold millions of copies and has been translated into many languages.[citation needed]

In 2013, Bosch published Write This Book!, a do it yourself book; he calls it "a book that readers will write for me". Bosch elaborated in an interview with Wired stating that "it is a kind of half-written, guided mystery. Parts of it are going to be multiple choice, choose-your-own adventure, parts of it will be more like Mad Libs, and some silly stuff".[9]

The following year, Bosch returned readers to the world of the Secret Series in Bad Magic, the first novel in what became the Bad Books trilogy.

On May 14, 2019, Bosch published The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers, with illustrations by Shane Pangburn. The book is about an eight-year-old boy who longs to be a professional magician.[citation needed] A followup, The Unbelievable Oliver and the Sawed-in-Half Dads, was released on May 12, 2020.[citation needed]

In 2021, Bosch published The Anti-Book, his first book under his real name Raphael Simon.[10]


As Pseudonymous BoschEdit

The Secret SeriesEdit

The Bad BooksEdit

  • Bad Magic (2014) centers around a character who was first introduced as Max-Ernest's little brother, Paul-Clay, in the Secret Series.[citation needed]
  • Bad Luck (2016)
  • Bad News (January 2017)

The Unbelievable OliverEdit

  • The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers (2019, illustrated by Shane Pangburn)
  • The Unbelievable Oliver and the Sawed in Half Dads (2020, illustrated by Shane Pangburn)


  • Write This Book (2013) is a do-it-yourself mystery.

As Raphael SimonEdit

  • The Anti-Book (2021)


  1. ^ Simon's date of birth comes from the author stating how his first professional essay was published one day after his 17th birthday.[2] According to Simon's official essay bibliography, the piece in question, “Hollywood Parents in Transit,” first appeared in the Los Angeles Reader on October 26, 1984.[3] Based on this, Simon's date of birth is 17 years and 1 day before October 26, 1984, which makes his date of birth October 25, 1967.




  • Bosch, Pseudonymous (May 8, 2016). "Also Known As". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  • Bosch, Pseudonymous (July 29, 2011). "Don't Read This". Chapter 16 (Interview). Interviewed by Fernanda Moore. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  • Bosch, Pseudonymous (May 24, 2012). "Wordstock Interview: Pseudonymous Bosch". Wired (Interview). Interviewed by Jonathan H. Liu. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  • Brallier, Max (April 17, 2021). "Pseudonymous Bosch's First Book Under His Real Name". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 17, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  • Breary, Jazzmine (April 28, 2011). "How well do you know your pseudonymous authors? | Children's books". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2012. Submit the (blank) quiz and select the "Show Answers" link for this information.
  • "Essays — PB/RS". Pseudonymous Bosch. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  • "IMPostor Appearances". The Name of This Website is Secret. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  • "Pseudonymous Bosch's Website". Pseudonymous Bosch. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  • Simon, Raphael (September 5, 2021). "Written Up: A Personal History". Los Angeles Review of Books. Archived from the original on September 7, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  • Simon, Roger L. (2011). Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown. Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594034817.
  • Yin, Maryann (April 17, 2012). "Pseudonymous Bosch Lands Deal with Dial Books for Young Readers". GalleyCat/Mediabistro. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.

External linksEdit