By Kris Kennedy
I’m a debut author, and my first book, THE CONQUEROR, comes out today, May 5. I’m pretty much shaking in my boots.
I essentially know nothing about the business of publishing, nothing about what sells books (yes, a ‘great’ book sells, but still, that hardly provides clarity, does it?) I certainly had no idea there’d be so many decisions to make, and me, knowing nothing, in a very poor position to make them.
One was whether to use a pseudonym or not.
It’s not as if I didn’t go back and forth on it, but finally (I thought), I made my certain decision: use a pseudonym. I even bought domain names for some alternatives I was tossing around. I’m a psychotherapist. I really didn’t want my clients sitting there picturing some of the more racy scenes while trying to process their fight with their boss the day before. I mean, I really didn’t want that.
But . . . I started re-thinking. I was already cutting back on my therapy practice, focusing more on family and writing. Less need to protect my clients from my imagination. LOL And if someone really wanted to find me for nefarious purposes, well, really it wouldn’t be so hard. And so a pseudonym began to seem, well, unnecessary.
But that’s not why I didn’t use one. That decision came from pure . . . rebelliousness.
Or, perhaps ‘contrariness’ is a better word. My husband applies both to me, so either *could* fit, I suppose.
Here’s the conversation I’ve had so many times, as soon as someone finds out I have a book coming out.
It goes something like this:
Them: “Oh, you have a book coming out? Wow! That’s fabulous! What do you write?”
Me, big smile: “Romance. Historical romance.”
Them: “Oh. Um, wow. And … are you writing under your own name?”
“Why, yes!” I exclaim happily. “And you? Do you work under your own name?”
Okay, I don’t say that last bit. Yet.
I was just getting P.O.-ed that that the pseudonym question was everyone’s first. Or maybe their second. It rarely took took much longer than that. It made me angry. Rebellious. Contrary.
And I wondered if other genre writers get asked the same question with such alacrity. Perhaps. I do not know. I will explore this issue though, one day.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand if someone chooses to write under a pseudonym. There’s dozens of reasons to do so. Come a time, I might make such a decision, depending on how hot things got in my writing.
But what bothers me was the immediate assumption that I’d want to hide what I do. Perhaps that I *should* hide what I do. Distance myself from it. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Whoops. That’s no good. I’m all done with pointless shame.
So, I write under my own name.
I am Kris Kennedy. I am a psychotherapist, a mother, a wife, and I read & write romance. I’m just as smart as I was a few minutes ago. Just as funny. Just as deserving of respect. Just as everything.
I read romance.
I write it.
And it’s about love, and sacrifice, and devotion.
Not sure what I’d should be ashamed of.
Yea, no pseudonyms needed. Not just now.
You? What do you do? Why?