Exploring the Pen Name
With Guest Blogger and Paranormal Romance Author Charlotte Boyett-Compo
(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 versions of Choices Meant for Gods and Apparitions. Details were posted June 1.)
What's in a Name?
We are defined by our names. If you’re a Horatio, you most likely have red hair, wear hideous sunglasses, and use ironic speech while repeatedly repeating your subordinates’ names. On the other hand, if you’re a Declan, you’re a buff Irish brigand with a head full of curly black hair that also pelts nicely between your manly pecs and you have a to-die-for brogue.
We’ve all seen those little games like: What’s your vampire name (mine is Serenula Lonesomhel)? Pirate name (Black Charity Rackham)? Superhero name (The Purple Phantom)? And my personal favorite…Viking name (Kaðlín Leafslayer). We can’t resist plugging in the information, giggling or groaning or snorting depending on how much we agree with the name. While each of the ones assigned to me are perfectly acceptable nom de plumes, no one I know would recognize me and recognition is vital. They must ALL be assimilated into my world. Resistance is futile! Bow down and…
But I digress.
I use my legal name. The reason why is simple: I decided when I wrote my first book back in 1986 that if I was going to put my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into writing it, I was damned sure gonna get the recognition I craved. I wasn’t worried about the neighbors, the folks at church, the PTA, whomever seeing my name on a book and coming after me with torches, pitchforks and a giant red P for pornographer in their eager hands. I thought: “Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke!”
Since I was knee-high to a Georgia blue tick coon dog, I had wanted to write. I penned my first book…a western titled Western Flame…when I was the ripe old age of twelve. (It was in homage to Michael Landon of Bonanza fame. Even back then I loved looking at that boy’s rear end in those tight buff-colored pants!)
I told everyone who would listen that one day I would have my name on a book.
“Yeah, right, Four-Eyes!” they scoffed. “In your dreams!”
Jump forward forty-two years, and you’ll see why my full name on my books was a must.
I graduated from Albany High School on 6/6/66. Those girls I went to school with…like Paula from the Food Network…used to look down on me because I wasn’t part of their in-crowd. I didn’t fit. I was the one who was always scribbling in a notebook and even though I wore contacts, Four-Eyes was still my pet name. When the invitation from the Chix of ’66 arrived in my mailbox…touting a cruise those ladies had set up…I informed them I couldn’t go because I would be on a book tour during that weekend.
BOOK TOUR??? VOUS????
Then I was asked to provide paperbacks to those attending the cruise: 40 of them. I didn’t, but I did provide a postcard for a free download of one of my books for whoever has the ballettes to email me.
Ain’t life grand?
You can read all about Charlotte and her incredible collection of Windlegends titles at her official webpage. And you can join her reading group and visit her blogs on Facebook and MySpace. Don't forget there's a fabulous micro-blogging phenomenon called Twitter where Charlotte and Sandy can be "followed" as well. Get on board, folks!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."