“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Shakespeare Romeo and Juliette.
I have been thinking about this whole pen name/ pseudonym thing for a while now, but just yesterday reading someone’s comment made me take a step back and look at where I was going.
I realize that at this time, you my loyal readers, number in the hundred…I’d say hundreds but that implies I have even hit the 100 mark…However, one of the reason’s that I started this blog, besides getting to know the writer’s social world better, was for the social world to know me. I write posts and I oftentimes haphazardly toss a name at the bottom, or simply sign it cheers, and this is all well and good…unless I want the people I have met and gotten to know to recognize me when the big day comes.
Right now, Some of you know me as Brittney, others as Breezy Vee (A nickname my good friend gave me a couple of summers back) and I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want my name to be Breezy, or Vee… or really any of the variations that come with it. It’s fine as a nickname, and I enjoy the closeness I feel with my friend when I use it, however, I am not that name. I am another name. My real name is Brittney L. A. Van Sandt.. Yup, it’s really that many words…
So, here is my Dilemma.
What is in a name? Do I keep my childhood name, a name all of my friends, family, and distant acquaintances know me by? Or do I branch out and create a Pen Name? A name that hopefully will be better suited for the cover of a literary masterpiece. I have been doing some studying, and these are the general reasons that one would choose a pen name:
1) Your real name is hard to remember and/or spell correctly
2) Your real name sounds silly, stupid or obscene. If your real name suffers from any of these problems, you’ll have a harder time getting readers to accept your work.
3) Your real name is the same as, or similar to, another author or a famous figure.
4) You are afraid… reclusive or fear fame, and want to make sure that regardless of how famous you might become, people won’t recognize your name everywhere you go.
5) If you are already an established author, you might want to use a pen name because of issues similar to brand name loyalty. For example, if you are a woman and have a change of name because of marriage, you might want to continue using your former name as your pen name.
6.) Also, some authors find that their work sells better if they have a different pen name for each genre. If you have built a reputation for writing standard who done it novels and you now want to put out a fantasy detective novel, loyal readers may steer clear of, and or smear the new book because it disturbs their expectations. Also, you need a separate pen name for any subject with a “taint” to it (such as erotica) if you want people to take your literary fiction or nonfiction seriously. Even Anne Rice uses a separate pen name for her erotica, though her more usual vampire novels always sit close to the border between horror and erotica.
7) You are working in a field (such as romance) where books written by a certain gender sell far better, but your name is obviously the wrong gender. Also, some female authors want a gender-neutral pen name because sexism can still impact sales, in any genre.
I feel that my name might be too long, and or hard to remember. Van Sandt is not the most common name, but Brittney is pretty common, and for some reason doesn’t strike me as a cover of novel kind of name.. Could just be me.
I have been mulling it over, and I would love some of your input! I’m going to start going by my real name, get out of the Breezy, Breezeevee, and Bree category and stick with Brittney, Brit, or Britt for now. Please leave me some comments, let me know how you feel about Pen Names, what you think of my name(as a writer’s name) and/or if you have a pen name! If I do decide to don a Pen Name you all will be the first to know! Thanks for your support!
Pleasant Writing to you!