Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm Taking a Pen Name

Recently my future has come more into focus, as far as the direction I want to take it. I've always loved writing and want to continue to write YA, MG, and NA fiction. But, my original plans with writing weren't in line with this. When I went back to college to finally finish my bachelors degree I was interested in teaching until I could return to school to eventually earn my masters and a doctorate in history. I'd love to teach history in the university setting. I am an avid genealogist and love to do historical research. I mean seriously. I love to find hidden gems in documents.

I have two projects that interest me within the historical research realm and my goal has always been to do the insane amount of research and then write historical books on them. In recent months I've begun thinking about this more and more. I'd like to go back to school when my three year old is in elementary and get those degrees.

While my two goals are within the realm of writing there is one glaring issue. My name. If I write fictional novels and historical research under the same name I'm bound to confuse someone. Big huge problem there. So obviously I need a pen name in one of those worlds. Since the historical research will be tied to my college degrees and hopefully a position as a professor in the future I feel my name on those should be the same. I can't teach history under one name and then publish history under another. That just doesn't sit right with me.

And let's face it, pen names in fictional writing is not a huge no-no. I mean some of my favorite authors write under either pen names or have left off their last name choosing to go by their first and middle names instead. So, I've tossed around a ton of names. I tried on my mom's maiden name for my "new" last name. My dad's mother's maiden name. I even thought of using my maiden name, but everyone seems to mispronounce that, it's German. Actually all three are German. So, I thought I'd try out my first and middle name as well. I sent all four names out to my family, my daughter's friends, and my writer friends to see which they liked the most. And, the winner was my first name with my middle name, no last name. 

So, as of this week I'm no longer going to go by the name Heather Simone in the world of YA, MG, and NA fictional writing. Instead I will be going by Heather Helene. It was the name that the majority of those polled chose. Not to mention my teen daughter and her teen friends thought it sounded the best. They all picked that one.

Fingers crossed this transition goes smoothly. :-) Have a great weekend! Tuesday's post will be a recap of the awesome Texas Book Festival. I can't wait to go this weekend!

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