Exploring the Pen Name
With Guest Blogger and Lecturer Linda Bindner
(During the month of June, here at Today the Dragon Wins we explore the use of pseudonyms. Don't forget to participate in the discussion in the comment field to enter the contest for a copy of the eBook version of Choices Meant for Gods. Details were posted June 1.)
To Use or Not To Use?
As to the question about a pseudonym, it's something I've thought about for years, but thought no one else would be interested in my ideas, so I never mentioned my thoughts on the subject. I could wax eloquentnow and talk your ear off, but I promised myself I would give an answer that's short and sweet...short for me, anyway. (The older I get, the windier I get.)(I wonder if there's a correlation there?)
Way back in college when I thought I wanted to get published, I decided that I'd rather write under my real name, so that I could walk into a bookstore, see my book under my maiden name of "Vogt," and say, "Hey, I wrote that!" It became an even better idea when my last name changed to "Bindner," as I had learned that people often browse through a bookstore or library fiction section starting at the letter "A" and stopping soon after, rarely reaching the letters at the end of the alphabet, like a book by someone whose last name starts with a "V."
Since the stroke, when I really got into the fanfiction again, at first I went with my real name because I was still so "out of it" that I didn't even consider using a pseudonym or a computer moniker like many other fine authors do. After it became pretty clear that I often wrote about more controversial topics than others did, I thought that using a moniker was kind of like hiding. Sure, my stories could potentially get me into trouble, I thought at the time, but I'd rather be in trouble than write a story under the name "Anonymous" and get no credit, either good or bad, for it.
And that's the story of me deciding to use my own name versus using a pseudonym. Besides, I know that I would never be able to actually think up a really good pseudonym in the first place, so I let it go. Now signing my real name to a story is habit, which tells me that I write too many stories, but this is not news.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."