There has been much in the press lately about J.K.Rowling who published a new book under a pseudonym and is very annoyed that her identity has been revealed. I’m not a fan of her Harry Potter stories, and I haven’t read her adult novel The Casual Vacancy, and I’m not sure I will read the new one written under the name of Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling.
There are all sorts of reason why people write under a name other than their own, and I mentioned this before when writing about feather names ( a literal translation of the Gaelic ainm cleite, meaning pen name) and I suppose I can understand why Rowling wants to disguise her identity, so people judge her books objectivity without being prejudiced by liking or disliking Harry Potter. I can understand that she wanted some honest criticism of her work, but she wasn’t like any normal first time author; no first author would get a publication deal like she has and no doubt the publicity machine behind the book is better than for most first-timers. However, I do feel really sorry that someone broke a confidence.
If I became really famous and popular (hollow laugh) would I ever consider publishing under any other name? I don’t think I would. Would I ever use an ainm cleite? I’ve often thought that as an author I haven’t the necessary cachet, too old, too English, the wrong class, not an interesting enough background but I’ve also thought that my writing not me should speak. I also like my name; would I really want a young name, or a name from a different culture? Kimberly O’Connor? Natasha Patel? Or how about adopting a masculine name, Cory Bergdhal? Or how about rendering me without gender, Vic Calhoun perhaps? or just initials the same as Ms Rowling, maybe P.D. Rojas?
I think probably not, I think I’ll just stick with who I am and give my characters unusual names… and I’ve got a few new ones now, haven’t I? Kimberly O’Connor, Natasha Patel, Cory Bergdhal, Vic Calhoun and P.D. Rojas?