What is in a name?
Several months ago, members of our writing group discussed whether or not we would use our real names when we became published. One of us is a teacher and at the time was a bit leery of her student’s parents knowing that she may write a steamy romance novel. Another one of us values her privacy and just would not want to use her real name at all. I write in more than one genre, so I would not want the any of my pen names to ever cross. This could lead to disaster, like when I was a kid and I read Judy Blume’s erotic book Wifey, quite by accident. I was ten years old at the time. Ten was a bit early to discover what kinds of trouble bored housewives can find.
So how did we go about choosing our names? At first I suggested we could use the “Porn Name equation”. Have you heard of this? For your first name you use your middle name. In my case that would be Ann. Then you take the name of the street you grew up on for your last name. Well, this is a problem as I moved several times before I grew up. This leaves me with several choices.
Ann East Fifth
Ann Windsor Forest, etc.
The last place I lived with my parents was Purple Brook Road. Ann Purple Brook? Hmmm, ah , NO!
So we decided to go with names that were more personal and close to our heart. I chose the name of my grandmother. Not just because her name is a beautiful name, and not because I loved her, but because she was so in love with romance. Never did I see her with out a a romance novel in her hand. Walking across the house caring a load of laundry..... with a French damsel in distress. Watching her favorite football team on Sunday.....with a beer in one hand and a Gothic in the other. The question of “Who moved my book” was one that all thirteen of her grandchildren feared. For loosing Grandmama’s book was a crime punishable by the horrid WOODEN SPOON! Grandmama did not loose many books!
Grandmama introduced me to romance and as early as the age of 13 we were swapping books back and forth via mail or her yearly visits. When she found out that I wanted to write romance, she gave me my first piece of writing advise. My 75 year old grandmother looked strait into my eyes and said. “If you want to sell your first romance, the sex has to be really hot and the couple has to jump in the sack really early!”
So in honor of my Romance Worshiping Grandmother, I chose the pen name Jacqueline McDermott. I think she is smiling down on me, and I hope to make her proud!