Exploring the Pen Name
With Guest Blogger and Erotica Author nikki hale
(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.)
Writing By Another Name
Because I write erotica, I needed a different name. nikki hale is a far cry from my given name and was the first name I could choose for myself. I tried selecting a name based on the pornographic film industry. If I have this wrong, I hope you’ll forgive. For your first name you pick the name of you first dog or cat. My Mommie hated cats so that left only the dog names.
I couldn’t see myself using King Baby for my first name. It had a ring to it. It would cause people to pause and think about what I said. It would even draw in people to see if a man named King Baby was any good at writing erotic romance. But I laughed so hard, I almost wet my pants, and so did every one else. So King Baby was out and I was back to square one.
Okay, I guess I could have shortened the name to Baby, but it didn’t grab me. I wanted something that made me feel sexy, sultry and sassy.
Okay, since the first name didn’t work maybe the last name thing would work. For the last name you pick the street where you grew up. The place were the neighbors have stories you don’t want anyone to know about. I live on forty-second street. I would have used ‘street’ but I would be at the end of the alphabet again. (My maiden name begins with a ‘W’.) I worked hard to find a man that was not only intelligent, thoughtful, and employed, but had a name at the top of the alphabet. They couldn’t pay me to move to back to the end.
So using ‘street’ was out. Okay maybe I could use forty. It was unusual. It was easy to remember. It was near the top. I could go with that. A friend asked if it was a last name or a statement about my age. So, I’m back to square one with both.
I grew up in a corner house on forty-second and hale avenue. Thoughts of using ‘Avenue’ flashed in and out of being the top contender quickly. hale emerged from the pile of broken letters to capture my imagination. It would make a great last name. It was close to the top. It wasn’t first like avenue, but it made me smile. The only thing left to do was to find a perfect first name.
I could always go with an original, my own name Cheryl. I have written under my own name. I have scientific journal articles and a fantasy romance under this name. It’s a major stretch for me to see the science person, ‘Cheryl’, writing erotic romance.
I finally remember the perfect first name for me, nikki. It was the name I couldn’t have during French class in high school. Someone else got to be called nikki for the entire year. Couldn’t people see that I would make a better nikki than my classmate? My teacher should have recognized the signs. I was fun-loving, lively and outgoing. How could they not let me be nikki? It should have been my name. nikki is all attitude, hence the name in lower case. nikki hale was born.
When I write as nikki, I have no problems with making my characters suffer, grow and develop. I can write a faster first draft. And my characters like me better. My nikki persona allows me to stretch.
Cheryl writing as nikki can be reached at email@example.com. Her first novella as nikki will be out this summer. Check out her web site at www.nikkihale.com for a preview of Kunzite Crystals.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."