Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Say Our Names

Big changes afoot here at Damned Scribbling Women, born of our rediscovered writing mojo. We're back, we're busy, and we're ready to tackle this business like never before.

So, to begin, a word about the shiny new names you see to the left of this post under "Meet the Scribbling Women." Kate D. is now the dazzling Kate Diamond, while theflitgirl has unveiled herself as Anneliese Kelly. We're tying the blog to our individual writing projects, so blogging under our writing names is a natural fit.

Yes, I said "writing names", not "names." Kate and I have followed in the footsteps of luminaries like Lemony Snicket, George Eliot, and all three of the Bronte sisters (Acton, Ellis and Currer Bell) in adopting pseudonyms, rather than publishing under our everyday names.

The decision to use a pseudonym of course brings up a host of conflicts and questions. It's fairly common in the romance industry, although increasingly less so. Writing under a name like Lulubelle von Flurryfeathers does feed into the stereotypes about this genre: frivolous, ridiculous, outdated, over-feminine. It also smacks of "hiding" behind a false name out of shame or embarrassment.

So why have two modern, unabashed women like us decided to go this route. For starters, both Kate and I are involved in education and literary studies. While we feel that writing romance only adds to our credentials as proud feminists, not all our current and potential bosses/teachers and coworkers/fellow students will agree. Additionally, the parents of the little darlings we instruct may not want to associate Junior's English teacher with lusty Regency dukes or shag sessions in lakeside cabins.

For me, however, there's another factor: my life-long love of names. Since I was a child I've poured over baby name books and as an adult must confess to an addiction to baby name messageboards. When else will I have the opportunity to name myself? My new name comes from my family history (my mother's maiden name) and from several of my favorite, most life-changing novels. Plus, it's pretty!

We'd love to hear from other readers and writers. What do you think about noms de plume? Would you/ Do you use one? Why are they more common in romance than any other genre, even mystery fiction?

Finally...what do you think of ours??


Kate Diamond said...

Teehee. So true. Parent-teacher conferences are already awkward enough without added associations of "lusty Regency dukes or shag sessions in lakeside cabins."

Added concern for me: I teach high school. Frankly, I have enough classroom management battles in front of me without adding "Hey, Ms. ---! Great sex scene. The rug burns were a nice touch!"

No thank you.

As for how I chose my psuedonym... well, my legal name is Katie. And since my mother's maiden name is somewhat dull (it's Smith, seriously), I went with my grandmother's maiden name.

Added bonus: my psuedonym initials will be KD. My married initials will also be KD. Woohoo!

Shelli Stevens said...

I love your names!! Congrats on picking them! :) I bet they go far.

I picked my psuedonym really using a nickname I grew up with (Pretty much should have tried harder to pick a more disguising one. Sigh.)

Good luck, ladies! I can't wait to read your stuff!

ames said...

That's so cool about your names. and I'm glad you ladies will be posting more often. :P

Momishka said...

I'm surprised Kate Diamond doesn't have a middle name - may I suggest Anne?

Holly said...

I think both names are wonderful, and they both seem to suit you.

I can't wait to see them staring back at me from the shelves at my local bookstore. Then I can bask in the glory of "knowing you when".