Why? I can’t pin it down. Partly as a marketing move, because there are so many Patricias around, far more established than I am.
Partly, for privacy. In today’s world the only way to possibly (emphasis on possibly) maintain some sort of privacy is to use a pseudonym that isn’t linked to any address anywhere.
Oh, and yes, there is that pesky little detail that Patricia is evidently a middle-aged name and the books I’m writing now are targeting a very wide audience which includes YA readers.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit that part in public, but then I read this article about a new author in the UK, Ali Knight. She writes thrillers.
She had to come up with a pseudonym at her publisher’s request because in the UK her real name “Alison” is seen as middle-aged and safe, boring. And her surname “Potter” creates other issues. Does she want people to see her name and immediately think of wizards or rabbits wearing jackets?
This bothered her.
And me? I’ve been itching for an agent or publisher to tell me to create a pseudonym for my new books.
And we get back to why. And I don’t know. It’s just an itch, and more than that, a “knowledge” that it’s something I really should do when my fantasy novels are published.
So, you’d think this would thrill me. “Okay, let’s do it! Let’s come up with a new name!” But it’s hard. It’s hard because every first name I think of, I immediately think of another author–often someone I know–with the same name. And it feels particularly awkward when that author is using their real name. Like I’m stealing.
I thought of Phoebe. Why? Because it’s almost PB, my initials.
Then I thought of family names. Vida, Carrie, Demma, Josephine (yikes). I think of family surnames. Nicholas, Beasley, Walden, James. This isn’t helping, is it? (Although I have an urge to use some combination of the above, feeling very Victorian about it all.)
But if I do, isn’t that negating my initial acknowledgement that a new pseudonym should reach to a younger reader?
So, I continue to ponder.
Have you ever wanted to change your name? For real life purposes? For writing purposes? Do you know what you wish it to be?
And what about my options? Do any work for you? Demma, Vida, Carrie, Phoebe or Paige?
Tell me about it!