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Friday, 30 March 2012

The name of the pen!

This morning, I’m juggling with the idea of names. Character names deserve their own post – so I’ll leave them for now. But what about author’s names – noms des plumes?
I used my name, Elizabeth Gates, in full (never Liz) when I was a journalist because it lent a sort of gravitas to my persona. And dealing with huge issues as I did – life, death, injury, cynical greed, fatal incompetence etc – gravitas was precisely what I needed.
But now, as a writing and communication coach and story-teller, I introduce myself as Lizzie Gates. A family name and – although I’m a professional still – this hints at a more approachable persona than the more formal Elizabeth Gates.
However, now I’m writing fiction, I have had a blinding insight into the whole ‘name’ thing. I can chose my name to fit the genre.
I was always drawn to writing comedy and I saw myself doing this under the name of Poppy Winthrop. But, for my historical novels, I’ve chosen to write under the name of my great-great-grandmother, Abigail Newsham – because she lived at about the time when the action in my current magnum opus is taking place.
What fun we can all have with names.