What is in a name?

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m having the dilemma of developing my writer‘s platform that works due to my real name being associated with my design work. I’ve had several good comments and advice given to me since then and I thank everyone for it.

The most eye opening one that came to me was from my daughter. She asked if I wanted to do it to protect her and her brother.


An incandescent light bulb.

“Ah ha!”  Cue light bulb.

I did some reading and a factor to this decision has continued to pop up in that research. The difference between public and private. If I was to start getting published and get known (one can dream right?) then if I use my real name then there is an increased chance that my kids can be caught up in anything that comes out of it.

Talk about an eye opener, perhaps the first head smack of the year too.

So that decision is out of the way, I now am in the position of finding a name.  Which then creates a new set of questions that can be summed up in a single major one.

What is in a name?

Most people were named by their parents which was chosen because of a lot of reasons. For myself, my name was chosen because of Frank Herbet’s book Dune, the Lady Jessica. My daughter’s name was chosen because of a Native American story that was told to me (though in retrospect considering the character she was named from it may not have been wise as she is as much of a trickster as the character). My son’s name is from his paternal great grand father.

I’m sure there are many that can regale us with the source of the names they chose for their kids.

But now I’m reversing the process. We’re talking about naming myself so where do I go for inspiration. It’s not like creating a character precisely because this is a name that is going to define me in my writing career. It’s supposed to reflect my genre AND my personality.


I’ve found sources of suggestions of where to get inspiration, suggestions of what to use and what I should think about when choosing one.

On one hand, I can pick something close to my real name. On the other I can pick something on the opposite end of the scale. A favorite name perhaps? Can’t do that because my main character in Memory Lane has that privilege. My second favorite doesn’t sound like it would be for a thriller writer.

Then again, here is another question: What name is good for a thriller/suspense writer???


Arg, should it really be this hard or am I over thinking it?

I have another question, if I was to change this blog under that name, would it be hard for those to follow my blog to make the switch or will I need to start a fresh blog?

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “What is in a name?

  1. I am going through a little bit of the same dilemma because of divorce. After two and a half years have decided I do not want to keep my husband’s name nor do I want to return to my childhood name. I want to go into a business and want to keep my private life private. Writers seem to enjoy having pseudonyms. I would say try a pseudonym. It will become a second identity to you that you relate as your professional identity.

    • That is my thought too. I realized today that I already have one that I used for a newsletter that I really like. I hope you have success with your situation. I can really empathize in my own life. Thanks for responding!

  2. I am glad that you have decided to go with a pen name, I really do think that is the best way to go. And there is of course the protection of children issue. I like the idea that you had. 🙂

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