A Coming Out Party for the Real Me.
April 29, 2013
I am thinking … maybe I should “out” myself. As writers we sometimes choose, often for the best of reasons, to write under a pseudonym for some of our more controversial works. Maybe you did not want to offend a friend or family member who would “see” him/herself in the work, even though it is fiction. Maybe you are employed in a field that would not hold some of your subject matter in very high regard. Would one of your steamy scenes be just too much for your pastor? Or the whole congregation? Whatever the reasons, we have them.
Let’s say that the friend or family member you are worried about has now gone on to their great reward. Let’s say you have quit your job or retired. Let’s say you have changed churches to one with less fundamentalist views.
Maybe it just might be time to out yourself as the true author of your work. There is the hassle of changing book jackets and blurbs to include your real name. Often it will require a re-publish click on your computer, some more typing and uploads and artwork. It is not something to much look forward to, especially if your computer is ultra slow, but it may be a boon to your branding. Consider all things carefully, then, if you can do so comfortably and with a clear conscience, do it!
I first published my book of short fiction, Blade Chatter, under the name of Pairalee Pendleton in 2000. This “author” has a much catchier name than my own. It still appears this way as a bound book on booklists. When eBooks became popular, I re-published it myself via Smashwords, using my own name.
I am about to out myself again, I do declare. It can be one of my summer projects. Nerd on Cloud Nine, a short, fictionalized account of teen angst, will soon be written by Sara Marie Hogg, instead of Effie Mugslowe. What Kind of Man … a paranormal fantasy novel which centers on the ghost of Franklin Pierce, will no longer be written by Greenberry Baxter, though both author names are catchier that my own. Let the chips fall where they may.