My father was an accountant, back in the day. (No wait, this does have something to do with sex, I promise). I used to work for him during the summer break, filing files, and the only interesting part of this job was the names that people had. Mr. Leaker, the plumber. Miss Potter, the purveyor of toilets and baths. The Hatters, who…you guessed it…made quality hats. Oh, the list went on!
A dear friend once told me that there is a theory about this — it’s called “nominalistic determinism.” That said, there isn’t much online to suggest that it’s official!
My own name, Lana Fox, is a pen name. Why did I choose it? Because it’s a very real name — there are other Lana Foxes around — and it also sounds and feels sexy for me. Plus our Zoe More, author of Hunger, who also has a story in Femme Fatale, uses a pen name too. And guess what? She’s written a fascinating post about the benefits of using a pseudonym. There are many, in case you wondered, so do take a look! Also, you can check out Zoe’s dark and sexy writing blog here.
On a crazier note, I was once told that you can “find” your pen name by marrying the name of your first pet with your mother’s pre-marital name. This, of course, isn’t a great system. For one, it assumes that you’ve had a pet and a mother you can track down. What’s more, not every mother changes her name.
Also, would I want to be called Pearly? Nope.
Anyhoo. What would your pen name be? Or if you already have one, why did you choose it? And how, indeed, does it support your work?