Well thank Christ the promo is over and I can get back to being an actual human being for the next few weeks. I understand it needs to be done – this Twitter stuff, these Kindle deals – but fucking hell they make me feel like some sort of soulless spam robot.
DOWNLOAD MY SHORT STORY FOR FREE etc.
I want to talk about pseudonyms today. Robert Galbraith. Cliff Richard. Er … Gary Glitter.
Personally, if I ever want to be employed in the corporate world again, using a pseudonym was a no-brainer.
Say I used my actual name, then my potential employers will come across a short story about a person killing his rival colleagues under the instructions of a possessed printer.
And also profanity and drugs and sex.
So yeah, I was always going to do this shit under a pseudonym.
Of course, my Instagram failed me. I kept my Facebook with my regular name, but my Instagram was under JB. I didn’t link the two, but for some reason, Instagram seemed to ‘suggest’ JB as an interesting person to follow to my IRL FB friends.
So I took down Instagram (who needs the fucking thing anyway?) and my personal FB (ah, what a relief).
Still, the damage was done. The cat was slightly out of the bag.
So if I know you in real life and you’re lurking behind your backlit Mac keyboard reading this – Hi there. Nice to have you onboard. I live in Sydney now. Drop me an email and say ‘Hi.’
Anyway, I was chatting to a family member the other day and they asked about my writing. I told them I used a pseudonym. They asked what it was and I said I wouldn’t tell them.
This caused offence, and it’s not the first (or, I suspect, the last) time it’s happened.
I’ve several reasons for not telling people my pseudonym:
- Mainly, if I have a blanket rule that I don’t tell anyone, it keeps things simple.
- I’m not writing for my friends or my family, I’m writing for people who want to read it – YOU. And also, I’m writing for ME.
- I write horror, and that throws up a lot of preconceptions. Perhaps I’m mental. Perhaps I’m a serial killer that has yet to be caught. ‘Well,’ they’ll whisper, ‘he was always kind of quiet and a little … strange.’ I don’t need that kind of judgement in my life.
- Is that character based on me? Possibly, but probably not.
- Let me offer my critical opinion … Everybody’s a fucking critic. Strangers are fine, but it’s hard to be objective about someone you know. I foresee fallouts on the horizon.
- It’s easier to brand a pseudonym than it is my real name. Feels less wanky. Does that make sense?
- Of course I don’t really give a fuck if people find out, otherwise I wouldn’t have plastered my face across all the branding and this website. It’s just that I’m not volunteering the info.
And there you go.
Am I being cruel to my family and friends?
Are you using a pseudonym? And if so, do you have these issues?
Let me know, friends.