Friday, November 16, 2007

Hi! My Name Is Jacqueline. And Jackie, and...

Maven Jacqueline BarbourAnd a few others I'd rather keep to myself.

I decided early in my writing career (such as it is!) that I wanted to use a pseudonym. I had a lot of reasons, which you can read all about here. The primary one remains protecting my family's privacy, a goal I admit to achieving with only mixed success up to now. I also feel, however, that an author's name is an important aspect of marketing and branding the identity of her books, and frankly, my real name is both rather vanilla and very difficult to pronounce!

The upshot of my decision to hide behind secret identities means I am now the proud owner of three pseudonyms:

  • Jacqueline Barbour, under which I'm writing "traditional" (whatever that means any more) historical romances set in the Victorian period.

  • Jackie Barbosa, under which I write erotic historical novellas (and I gotta give props to Maven Darcy for coming up with the surname Barbosa; I freely admit to never having seen a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, so I'd never have come up with it on my own and it's simply fantastic!).
  • Barbara Louise, newly-signed editor for Cobblestone Press.

I might need at least one more pen name, too, since I've picked up a first person contemporary piece I started over the summer and have fallen back in love with the story. Both my other pen names are historical "brands," so I'm not sure I'd want to use them for this book.

While I obviously think psuedonyms have advantages, there's also a downside. The first...and most important one...is that I have a hard time remembering at any given time who I'm supposed to be. Which name do I sign at the bottom of email: Jacqueline, Jackie, or Barbara? Which name do I use when I answer the telephone? (This led to a particularly funny incident when I was at RWA National in Dallas over the summer, which I'll have to relate some other time.)

My tendency to forget who I am becomes particularly acute, however, whenever I'm asked to write a bio. (And it wasn't just the Mavens looking for bios this week. Cobblestone wanted one for my editorial self, too.) In a way, I suppose I do think of each of my identities as different people, with slightly different characteristics I want to highlight.

So, should you be inclined to learn more about me (or my selves, as the case may be), you can follow the links below:

As for a bio for the real me, well, I'm afraid that's yet to be written. To paraphrase Monty Python, I'm not quite done yet.

YOUR TURN: Do you have more than one identity (whether or not you have more than one name)? How do you feel about writing bios? And do you have any suggestions for my fourth pen name? I'm all ears!

6 comments:

Bill Clark said...

Which name do I use when I answer the telephone? (This led to a particularly funny incident when I was at RWA National in Dallas over the summer, which I'll have to relate some other time.)

You're such a tease! C'mon, Jacq, there's no time like the present! :-)

Your two bios that are up are great - I didn't know you were a Classics major! So was my mother, who taught me the Greek alphabet at 5. And a Mellon Fellow - woo-hoo!

(You're right - the third bio isn't up yet.)

B.E. Sanderson said...

I'm still using my real name, albeit in initial form. That'll have to suffice for keeping my anonymity for now. I do plan to use a pen name when I strike out on a more light-hearted set of stories. I had to write a bio for a submission packet once. It's tough for me to do because I have no writing creds, so it was basically just me blathering about myself for a paragraph.

Writer & Cat said...

Myself (Jody Wallace)
Ellie Marvel
Typing Slave
Meankitty
Grammar Wench
The Grammar Wench's Cousin Maybelle

Um, I think that's all *heh*

Darcy Burke said...

Sorry, been in sickbed! You're considering another alias?! I'm beginning to suspect genuine multiple personality disorder... ;-)

Jackie Barbosa is still my favorite, of course.

Erica Ridley said...

I'm using my real name, too. I may end up with a pseudonym if I end up being published in both YA and adult, but for now I'm sticking with the real me. =)

lacey kaye said...

I don't think about this too much. Like Bill, though, I'd love to hear the story!

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