Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday: Pseudonyms

Today on Road Trip Wednesday YA Highway asks:

If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be. 

Pseudonyms have a long and interesting history. Some of the best known authors in Western canon were writing under pseudonyms. George Eliot, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll and Currrer Bell (Charlotte Brontes early penname) to name a few. However, in the information age a pseudonym is much harder to keep hidden. There are those who can publish anonymously, the author of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl remained as anonymous as Jane Austen writing as "A Lady" until she revealed herself. But the secrecy rarely lasts.

Often nowadays true I don't-want-you-to-know-who-I-am pseudonyms are used by authors writing as a character winthin the text. Lemony Snicket and Darren Shan are examples of this. But we all know by now that Daniel Handler is, in fact, Lemony Lemony's assistant, of course.

All of that said, I do plan on publishing under a name that's not my full name. Chelsey Blair are my first and middle names. I want to do this because I've been Chelsey Blair on the internet for so long, and also because i want to separate my academic writing from my fiction. (Also, I plan on changing my name when/if I get married. So.) But I know my "real" last name will be known. It's the internet age. It's on my facebook, how I'm known to the alumni office of every school I've gone to.

Really, a pseudonym these days is just the name printed on the book. And for me that'll be Chelsey Blair.