Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sultry Sunday- Questioning Pen Names

When I first started writing professionally in 1999 as a newspaper stringer, I always used my real name. I still do. Most local people know me and my family and, normally, newspapers frown upon writers using pseudonyms. Which was fine with me, I am who I am.

Then I started advancing my writing career. I became a published author, I write online articles (the topic is mainly sex related) and I was asked to be an administrative editor for a review website. Further advancement found me reviewing adult toys, writing for adult based websites and having a weekly radio segment gig with some great (but rock radio station raunchiness) DJ's. So far I have loved the ride...but all this so-called fame has me questioning my name.

Dawne Prochilo is the name I've gone by for the last decade and I like it. It is me and I am it. So why now am I doubting my "writing name".

Let me start by saying, my name is now public. Not just for the locals who read the newspaper but for the world to see on facebook, twitter and every other social networking website where millions of people, fans and, *sigh*, perverted lonely men can see me. I mean, have you ever googled your name? I did that recently...and WOW, I am so out there for the general public.

After some research I discovered I'm the only Dawne Prochilo in the US, my name is easily searched through yellowpages and my home address is effortlessly seen. So, now I'm wondering, all these other authors who did choose a pen name, am I jealous of them? In some ways yes, very jealous.

Their privacy is not invaded. Their home life is still private.

But alas, it's too late for a pen name- I've already made a place for myself (and my name) in the romance genre of writing.

So I've decided in my next life, I will have a pen name. Something erotic, something sexy. Now just to figure out what that name will be.


Vivien Jackson said...

On the other hand, it doesn't sound like all the other (made-up) names out there. It's distinctive, and you don't have to keep your various identities distinct. It's a good name.

Dawne Prochilo said...

TY Vivien... I've tossed around this idea for years and basically came to the conclusion of I am my name and that's all there is to it

Savanna Kougar said...

Early on I read articles by romance authors who advised pen names for the reasons you've encountered. I took it to heart since romance authors have been stalked, and one was murdered by a stalker... that's been awhile back. Still, in this world it's way too easy to find people. Plus, it is always recommended you have a mailbox, and never ever use your home address.

Think, authors and aspiring authors, you ARE targets to a few psychos out there.

Dawne Prochilo said...

I know Savanna and those are the thoughts that have entered my mind. I have experienced a few unfortunate incidents- nothing to the extreme of potential harm- but it still has me wondering.

Janie Simpson said...

This is definitely something to consider especially as Savanna stated when writing in this genre. Creeps and weirdos are everywhere and finding someone with a public name appears to be very easy nowadays. Be careful and think about changing name to a pseudonym.

Mary Quast said...

A pen name.... one like a porn star?

I was a professional artist for 18 years before I started writing so I kept that name (which is my real one). But I do write my Christian stuff under the name, Elizabeth Mark. (My middle name + my hubby's first name).

Dawne Prochilo said...

I guess if I ever change my genre again I can pick a new one- but for now I have 'my' name and the followers/fans- no matter how wacky they can be... lol

Cara Bristol said...

My maiden name was very distinctive. No one ever could pronounce it or spell it if I said it. When I got married, I hyphenated. Awkward. I ended up using my husband's name for most everything. But when I started writing erotic romance, I knew I wanted a pen name because the stuff I write IS racy, plus I wanted a name that was easier to spell and was at the START of the alphabet.

I actually found it quite empowering to choose my name, instead of taking my father's or my hsuband's. I have a friend, who when she got divorced, picked a completely different name for herself.

At first I found it schizophrenic to wear two names; now it feels normal and I've almost slipped in my personal life and told people my name is Cara.

I like being Cara!

William Kendall said...

I use three different pennames. William Kendall is my primary penname. James Morgan is for the joint writing I do. And William Keogh is an online site penname.