Friday, November 30, 2012

To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym: For Many Writers that is a Good Question

I have never liked my given name.

My first moniker is a family name; therefore, I should be proud to have it. However, I've spent a good portion of my life avoiding it. When people learn I don't use my first name, they pester me to reveal it, but I rarely will. In fact, I tried to leave it off my Social Security card, but the danged government wouldn't allow it. The first day of a new class I would ask the teacher to "Just call me Kyle."

My middle name is kinda cool. When I was growing up there weren't many Kyle's, unlike today where the name has become more common. Having a unique handle made me feel a little special. I like my middle name.

Then - cringe - there's my last name. White. Can a surname get any more boring? My whole life I've been envious of people with exotic-sounding last names. Therfore, when I decided I wanted to be a writer, I knew I needed a pseudonym.

Problem is, I couldn't find one of those I liked either.

Allen Kellor was my first choice, but too many people said it sounded like 'killer'.

I merged my children's names into Lukoby, but it came across as artificial.

I tried using just their first name - Jacob Luke - but it didnt seem fair to steal their identities to make up for my own short comings.

Finally, I found the perfect solution: I reversed the order of my name into Kyle W. George. Problem solved.

Until I sold a short story. I was proud, but when I stared at the publication, I realized that I didn't want a stranger, this 'Kyle W. George', taking credit for my work. Selfishly, I wanted my name on the story.

So, I'm back to where I started. George Kyle White. G. K. White, Kyle White, or my old standby G. Kyle White. One day, I need to chose.

What about you? Do you struggle with pen names, or are you happy with the one given to you at birth?

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