Isn’t it the worst trying to come up with a name?
Everything requires naming these days, too. From our blogs, to our pen names, pet names, baby names, car names, email addresses, Twitter accounts, work name badges, gamer log-ins…
My friend and I have recently been discussing pen names. K T Grant is really just a slight twist on my actual name, which affords a little anonymity from the rest of the world, which is natural when you’re exposing things such as your innermost thoughts and feelings. It’s the reason that I chose to use it for this blog, and why I’ll continue to use it in the future.
But names are a big part of a writer’s world, and there’s always so much pressure in what each name means that it’s difficult to simply pluck a name out of the air and have it work for you. You want something punchy, something catchy, but is memorable and holds significance to what you’re doing and who you are. It’s probably unlikely that, should you choose to fall into chick lit, you’re going in with the name Uther Dragonheart, regardless of how cool it is. You’ll look at the other names out there, the slightly feminine, flirtatious or sensual connotations. Then you’ll look at how the rest of the world will relate to the name: will this translate into other languages? Will the audience looking at this think: yes, I can relate to this person, Miranda Summer seems like a real woman, who loves real romance?
Another thing to look for is where you’re going to end up on the shelf. Unless you’re going in with a specific author in mind, you’re going to be looking mid-shelf, eye level, hoping that something catches your eye before you’re forced to crouch uncomfortably on your knees for half an hour.
Where does your name fall in the shelving system? It’s probably best to avoid the As and the end of the shelves, like Ws and Ys. It might even be worth looking at authors you like, or authors you feel your work will be synonymous with and arranging your name to fit close by.
Sneaky? Perhaps, but I’m sure it’ll work.
But let’s not forget, at the end of the day, if it’s a quality product, it will do the work for you, but it’s always good to remember what you’re going into and to arm yourself accordingly.
Live Long and Prosper.