It’s fairly simple: Mar from Marsha, Ble from Blevins, and words are my game.
When I decided to start a blog and starting using other social media to promote my work, I debated for about a month on whether I should or wanted to use a pen name. Ultimately, since the common reason for using a pen name didn’t apply to me, I stuck with my decades old moniker.
During my mini-identity crisis, I considered the common reasons very carefully:
You write in different genres—I do, but for now, I think I’m ok. Maybe after my first huge, successful novel this might be an issue.
You don’t want your real name associated with your work or You want to be anonymous—Maybe? I write about some controversial issues and my writing doesn’t always reflect my personal views. I feel writers are at their best when a character challenges them by having an opposite view of an issue. Honestly, though, do people really keep their pen names and real names hidden away? Not really so why bother?
Your real name is difficult to remember, pronounce, too common—Nah. Although, I do get “Marcia” sometimes and people love to do The Brady Bunch “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” thing to me…all the time.
Your real name is the same as another well-known author—Nope. Not that I know of and not that Google knows of anyway. I may be a: health and wellness adviser in TX, a sales adviser in CO, BSN student in VA, a furniture store owner in GA, a teacher in Glasgow, a real estate professional in TX, or a retired letter carrier in NY, but not a well-known author…not yet anyway. (FYI—The mug shot that comes up in the Yahoo! Image search…that’s not me.)
Gender issues—This may shock some of you who think we live in a completely equal world, but there are some tendencies and stereotypes in the publishing and writing worlds. While this mostly impacts women, depending on the genre, men can feel this too. At points throughout history, women have been forced to write under male names, use initials, or use gender neutral names to appear male for their work to be published or purchased. I thought about gender neutralizing myself, but initials were out for me since that would end up M. A. Blevins. I played around with Chris as a first name, but it just didn’t feel right.
You’re too prolific—HAHA! I’ll let you all know when THIS becomes a concern for me.
You need to restart your writing career—Ditto on this one. I’m just trying to START my writing career.
The few seriously considered pen names were:
Martha Judy (too close to my first name)
Chris Black/Blevins/Marsh (just didn’t stick with any of the last names I had in mind)
Gertrude Pennywhack (no, I didn’t really consider this name! I was just seeing if you were still reading.)
After deciding to just be me, Marble was a nice compromise to using the standard “Name Name, Author” format for my web-presence. Plus, my fan club members can be called Marbles and I can say “Oh, look 5 new Marbles.”
I just don’t ever want to have to say “Oh, no! I’ve lost my Marbles!” 🙂