This Week's Topic:
If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?
Believe it or not, one of the first questions I asked an agent, when I met one in person, was do I need a pseudonym? Looking back on it, it doesn't seem like such an important question, but to a brand new writer who's always had her name mispronounced or misspelled in school, I really wanted to know.
My full name is Donelle Renee Lacy. I share the same initials as my deceased father. DRL. I was even named after him (Donald Lacy - Don L, get it?). I love my initials, but for years I didn't particularly love my name. I was always confused with the Danielles in my class in high school. One teacher even called me Donella because he didn't know how to pronounce it. I didn't hate my name, but I just thought if it was a little less like Danielle or Denelle, then it might be easier.
What this agent told me was no. Absolutely not. She said that my name was unique and fit my genre (Victorian YA fantasy) very well. Since then I have googled myself and discovered that (mostly due to the internet presence I've been creating) I'm the only Donelle Lacy there is. The first page of Google is filled with me! - the second one too. (not to brag, seriously, but it's pretty cool!)
Being an avid lover of character creating and naming, I still toy with the idea of a pseudonym for myself. I haven't decided if I'll call myself D. R. Lacy (a little more androgynous), Donelle R. Lacy (in tribute to my father with that same initial) or Donelle Renee Lacy when I publish. But I'm not worried now. Talking to that agent really put those concerns about creating a completely new identity for myself to rest. I can be proud of my name online in forums, chatrooms, and the blogosphere.
As someone who hid behind false identities for years in chat roleplay, I can tell you this is an anxious and exciting new world for me. I'm sometimes worried "What if I say something really stupid or off-hand to someone and they remember my name forever as that girl who said ____?" I'm still not quite up to using my real name in certain chatrooms yet, but I'm getting there.
What about you? Are you proud of your given name? Do you have a pseudonym?