Monday, February 13, 2012

Also Known As....




About a week ago, I put out a call to my G+ pals for blog topic ideas. In about five minutes, the great Shen Hart came up with almost twenty five for me to choose from.

One of the topics on Shen's list that caught my eye was "How do you feel about pen names?". Something I've never thought about before. How did I feel about pen names?

When I was younger I remember always questioning my mom as to why she named me "Mark". She never could come up with a reason as to why I was stuck with the plain, drab, name of "Mark", though she once told me what my name would have been if I had come out a girl. Of course, now I can't remember just what that name would have been. I'm guessing it would have been something equally as drab as "Mary" or "Marcia". 

No offense to any "Marys" or "Marcias" out there.

One thing I do remember in my conversations with my mom, about my name, was always telling her I would have liked to have been named "Jim".  Not "James"...but "Jim". This can probably be attributed to some popular action figures of the day that I really enjoyed.... Big Jim and the P.A.C.K. I remember spending a lot of time playing with my action figures (no, they were not dolls!) when I was younger and....hey, sue me, it was before the Internet....what else was I supposed to do??

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. For me, I don't think I would ever use a pen name and mainly because if I ever hit it big...and I'm talking Stephen King, J.K. Rowling big I'd want everyone to know that it was me, Mark Means,....that kid who used to play with the Big Jim action figures....who had soared to super stardom in the literary world and not some cookie cutter, manufactured author named Simon James.

Oh, did I mention that if I ever had to use a pen name that it would probably be "Simon James"?

Well, it would be something like Simon James, I think. Something that had a sort of European flair to it. Of course, I could still sneak in a slight homage to Big Jim with the 'James" part....that would  be our little secret. 

So, how about you? Pen name or your real name? Why?

Another special thanks to Shen Hart for the topic idea. Shen's writing blog can be found here, so check it out!

1 comment:

Shen Hart said...

Given you mentioned me, I just had to drop by :-P

Shen Hart, technically, is my pen-name. The name on my birth certificate if something far far more common and very English (and Welsh). However! I use Shen because it's my pagan name, which as far as I'm concerned, IS my name. It has far more meaning to me than the name on my certificate, it's the name I will always use when given the option.

I did however use a 'proper' pen-name when I did erotica, purely because I didn't want family to hear about me doing it. I also didn't want to risk the fact I'd written erotica affecting my chances of getting my 'more serious' stuff traditionally published.

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