I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of pen names, and what it means to have one. This name is not quite as anonymous as perhaps I wish it was, as it is made up of my own given names, although it is not the name I put on my job applications. Sometimes I wish I’d picked a more androgynous name, or a more mysterious one, but I am glad for the authenticity of this one.
When I write a book more suitable for a wider audience (i.e. not exclusively 100% pornography, not that I dislike writing that), I think I will take my mother’s name. It’s a little more elegant, and she would be proud to have it attached to my books.
I am attempting this year to read only books by women, which I was very happy to confirm included Robin Hobb. I suspected on first peek that Robin Hobb was a woman, but it was still a pleasant feeling to have it confirmed in her bio on the back. And her name isn’t really Robin Hobb, but I respect very much that she picked a more neutral name since her first stories under that pen are narrated by a man’s voice.
I only wish for more anonymity when I think about how indiscriminately I have crossed my streams in the last few years. I have not shied away from my name as a Sherlockian, and have admitted to my pornography to real actual people I have met in person. I haven’t given up the goods on Facebook yet, because I’m friends with my grandmother on there, but ultimately she’d probably be cool with it. I also worry about the reactions of friends from high school. But why? Why do I care what those people, with whom I have had limited contact since graduation, think of this part of my career? I am working towards and achieving some of my dreams. People deserve to know that.
But maybe not all people.
I don’t know.
But I am taking my mother’s name.