What’s In A Name?
Why do you use a penname, are you embarrassed by your work? As an erotic romance author I’ve been asked this question. I can honestly say that no, I’m not embarrassed by what I write, but I can tell you that in the ultra-conservative area that I live in a pseudonym is a necessity lest I invite derision by the town. In the end it would be my family that would suffer the consequences, and I certainly don’t want to bring that on them. Here sex is a sin, and I wouldn’t be much more than a pervert peddling smut (though why they would find me out while scanning for romantic erotica online is another story.)
Other than concealing your identity, there are other reasons for a pen name. While my surname and given name were decided for me at birth, my alter ego Olivia Starke is my creation alone. Think of it as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomenon, as Olivia I am completely free to express myself and in a shocking way at times while my real life self lives beneath the expectations of family and society. Olivia is a wild child who is open in her sexuality and is free to explore and express herself in whatever way she desires in her writing. Real life me must remain demure, closed mouth, because honestly I have the look of a good little church girl.
Under a pseudonym I am liberated, and my fellow author friends know me better than my own family and any others in my real life who would never accept me as a sexual being. For some this may be sad, perhaps they would frown on me caring what others think, but short of shaving my head and getting tats from head to toe, it’s the look I was gifted with and fighting it is nothing but a frustration.
Outside of the sex that is inherent in my genre, there are other reasons that I want to remain anonymous. I am always a part of my characters and many times as I bare their souls I bare mine as well. As authors we do this, this is how our heroes and heroines come alive to the readers. Within their insecurities and weaknesses lie my own. Much as the musicians I listen to scream their emotions into the microphone, I scream mine onto the pages. Having someone in my real life circle read my work would feel like they were reading all the secrets in my personal diary. As Olivia I can comfortably and safely share these feelings with my readers.
For anyone and everyone who is interested in exploring life as an author as both a career and a past-time I invite them to consider using a pen name. Even if you don’t choose erotic romance and believe you’ve nothing to hide, give an alter-ego a chance. You might be surprised at the freedom you feel as you recreate yourself, your true self that is one hundred percent you and you alone without the world’s tampering.
Originally Posted on the Aspiring Romance Writers Website http://aspiringromancewriters.webs.com/apps/blog/categories/show/938475-olivia-starke
Olivia Starke calls the Ozarks home. One of the most beautiful areas in the country, she loves hiking trails with her dogs, kayaking on the numerous waterways, and enjoying southern Missouri's fresh air and sunshine.
She's also 'Mom' to four dogs, a growing number of kitties that show up at her door, and four VERY spoiled horses that do little to earn their keep. Not that she'd ever hold that against them.
She's a HUGE fangirl of Doctor Who and to a lesser extent Supernatural, and has a pretty interesting love triangle (or square?) going on in her head between the Doctor and the Winchesters.
'Adding a Little Kink to Your Bedtime Story'