The other day, I had a brief, but very interesting discussion with a well-known romance author regarding the origins of her nom de plume. As Obitey-ites know, Shrinky doesn’t understand the need for a pen name. It makes him suspicious, causes him to wonder what you’re trying to hide. I tell him it’s for marketing reasons because write across several different genres, like you publish psychological textbooks (as Shrinky does) and you want a different audience to read your spy thrillers.
Then there’s anonymity. For example, everyone knows you as Miss Cutie, the Kindergarten teacher and parents would be shocked, shocked, to discover that the pixie-like woman who teaches little Dakota and little Paris the ch sound also writes Erotica as well as BDS&M novels. You like your day job and you want to keep it. That’s why you write as Pandora Boxx.
Of course, there are those who use the name they were given. My author friend wanted to use her OWN name. She wanted to set up a domain name and web site using her real life name because, dammit she worked hard to get published and she wanted (and rightfully deserved) recognition. Unfortunately, she’s not the only Darcy Heathcliff (a totally made up name) in the world. She discovered that another Darcy Heathcliff had already snagged the domain and website name. Dear Darcy had to scramble to find a name she could call herself, one that meant something to her.
Shrinky expects me to publish as myself. He just EXPECTS that will happen, but I’m not really certain I want to be Oldbitey Shrinky. I like the idea of initials and I’m pretty sure that’s all because of ee cummings, A. E. Hotchner and E. B White. Darcy asked me what name I’d choose and I told her about the initial idea, but for some reason, when I said it out loud, it felt ersatz. Now, you and I both know I can dig the whole faker thing, but a fake name? Hmmm. I’m still out on this kind of fak-i-tude.
There are already a few Olbitey Shrinkys out there. Dare I be one of them, should I come up with something nearer and dearer to my heart, or stick with being O. B. Shrinky? I put it to you. Yes, YOU, biteyites! Tell me what you think.