Nom de plume, pen name, alias, cover, whatever label you care to use, it amounts to the same thing – adopting a false moniker for the purpose of concealing your true identity. Sounds dishonest, doesn’t it? So why is it many authors choose to write under an assumed name? Good question! Better yet, why am I considering doing the same?
In my case, there are a few things leading me toward an alter ego. First and foremost, my name is short, really short. It goes by so quickly, it isn’t unusual for me to have to repeat it when I meet people for the first time. They wear this look that says, “Is that all?”
Second, other authors are already using my name. The nerve of those people! You’d almost think it was their name, too. Ha, ha, ha! They aren’t in the fantasy or scifi genres, so it may not create any confusion. Even so, it’s something to think about. Third, using a pen name offers a level of privacy. In the highly connected world of the digital age, it isn’t the same veil of secrecy it might have once been. But in the unlikely event I write the next Harry Potter, even a single, sheer veil might be a comfort. “Ignore the man behind the curtain, Dorothy!”
Fourth, using an author code name just might provide enough distance to free my muses, allowing me to write the story as it should be told without worrying what my friends and family may think. Not that I won’t still crave their approval, of course. That’s a given!
How serious am I about a nom de plume? Serious enough to have a short list. Again, I’m writing in the fantasy and scifi genres. What do you think of the following: Shawn Parker or Jordan Gray. Share your thoughts below. Or if you have a better suggestion, please drop me a line in the comments.
Thanks, and au revoir for now!