I’ve been following a Q&A with the fabulously talented Lucy Monroe on AskAnAuthorPro. (Open to those with RWA PRO status.)
First, if you’re not reading Lucy’s books, you seriously should be! The Real Deal was one of my favorite books of 2004. Second, if you qualify for PRO status and you just haven’t bothered with the paperwork or dismiss it as a rejection pin (grrrr–don’t get me started), you are really missing out.
So, anyway, Lucy Monroe is doing a Q&A this week on Career Planning. One thing that particularly caught my attention was her comments on pseudonyms. Basically, one spends months–or in most cases years–interacting on message boards, readers’ loops, writers’ loops as one’s self, then you get The Call, pick a pseudonym, and…start all over.
I’ve been roaming around online for about 3 1/2 years. As me. After reading those posts, I realized that she was right–if you’re going to use a pseudonym, start immediately. Don’t wait for The Call.
This led to a rousing discussion with the husband on names. Every single one we came up with sounded incredibly stupid (I wanted to keep the Shannon part). I don’t like my maiden name, my mother’s maiden name, or any other maiden names on my family tree. Every one he came up with made me sound like the star of a backroom porn movie. Every one I came up with started with B, until he laughed and said “You just want to sit at the same table as Jaci and Mel. Hmmmm….
Finally it boiled down to a discussion of WHY the pseudonym? Pros: Ummm…1–Eventually if I attracted a nut, he wouldn’t be able to find my house, unless he has even a passing knowledge of the internet. 2–There are always people who assume that I’m stupid and just don’t know Stacey is my first name. It’s not, thanks. Cons: 1–Starting all over with a new identity. 2–Legalese. 3–I like my name. 4–And I want MY name on MY book. 5–And all the other choices sounded really dumb.
After many yeah-buts and much eye-rolling, we came to the conclusion that neither of us sees a reason for me to use a pseudonym. It wasn’t really a conversation I was comfortable with because, here in Red Sox Nation, we are more than familiar with the curse of putting the cart before the horse, but Lucy’s comments made me realize that in career planning, that’s exactly what you have to do.