The top three questions I’ve been asked since releasing my book are:
- How long did it take you to finish the book?
- What made you want to write a book?
- Who the heck is Katie Thayne, and why didn’t you use your real name as the author?
The answer to question one is; forever, and I’m not sure it will ever be completely finished in my mind. I’m not going to be truthful if I answer number two, so let’s skip to question number three.
Why I released my book under a pen name? I had a few reasons. And no, the thought I’d be so famous I’d need anonymity wasn’t one of them. Katie Thayne was the original name of the heroine in Miss Impractical Pants. After years of being in her head, or vice versa, I kind of became attached to the ‘ol gal. I wanted to keep her around. I know how that sounds—creeeepy. Can we say Sybil?—but it’s not like that (we…I mean, I think).
It’s more like this, one day, when I become independently wealthy or unemployed—either one ought to give me plenty of spare time, I plan to turn all the random plot summaries sloshing around in my brain into real books. They won’t all be in the same vein as the light-hearted Miss Impractical Pants. I many decide to publish different genres, under different pen names.
The biggest reason, however, for my taking on a second identity was pure cowardliness. What if, after spending years of my life and my savings account getting this book published, it turns out to be a huge flop? How bad would that suck? What if someone doesn’t appreciate my irreverent sense of humor, and decides to tell me off? Katie Thayne can handle scorn and public humiliation much better than I can. Granted, it’s a moot point now, since I posted on Facebook to check out my new book, so at least three hundred and sixty four people know my real identity.
In hindsight, after working with a writing coach, editor, and writing group—talk about brutal honesty—my skin is thick enough, I could have authored under my real name without risk of emotional harm. Especially, since I’ve been getting really positive feedback about the book (Yay!). But as I said, I’ve become attached to Katie Thayne, so I think I’ll stick with her for book or two longer.