What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? Is there a real difference between a pen name and a real name? Why do we even choose pen names?

I know my reasons for choosing a pen name are few. First, I have a very unique first name. Unfortunately, that first name tends to make people think of 5 year old boys. Second, I want to keep my last name a secret. I’d prefer not to be flooded by spam or hate mail, at least not to my private address. Silly reasons, I’m sure, but still reasons. So, I settled on S. G. Ricketts. There was something professional to it, and it is very much neutral on the gender aspect. I like to throw a little mystery into the mix. (It may have helped that most of my favorite authors had initials in their pen names: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, R. Lynn… Need I go on?) Stevie Grace or Stevie Lastname would have been perfectly fine, but those two points stuck with me.

On top of that, I have a certain pride for my mother’s maiden name. I carry it with me as a middle name, a gesture of respect from her to her parents who had no boys to carry on the name. That to me seems incredibly noble. My siblings and I are the last bearers of the name Ricketts from that family tree. Because I love all things dramatic, it seemed only appropriate for my pen name to end with Ricketts. Then, when I’m gone it will continue to live on. A person only lasts for 80 years. A story lasts for centuries.

If you have a pen name, what is it and what’s the story behind it? If you don’t, was there any particular reason you chose to keep your true name?


About S. G. Ricketts

I am a dreamer. This page holds all of the dreams and desires and hopes and wishes of the first of my two dreams: to share my imagination with the world. For those of you who have read a book or written a book, these stories are not merely words on a page. They are living, breathing creatures, worlds so compellingly real that you can smell the sweat and feel the rain. This is what I want to share ...with all of you. Yes, becoming rich and famous would be fabulous. I won't deny that. However, it would be so much more satisfying to see my book in the hands of someone on the bus, hear my book talked about at a restaurant, see a cluster of fan-art. I want to inspire the mind to imagine different worlds and different situations. If I can achieve that, I will have achieved my dream.

Posted on December 26, 2011, in Musing, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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