Choose a pen name. Easy right? My original pseudonym – DeeDee Elle- came about as an in joke based on an online mum’s group when I needed something to hide behind on Wattpad (my day job is teaching so it was a definite necessity). It was a good name, it did the job, the women who knew the connection thought it was fun, and occasionally people would ask where it came from. A male friend finally admitted he had wondered if it was my bra size. I became quite fond of DeeDee.
However, when I got The Call from Sarah at Harlequin, she asked was I going to use that, my real name or something else entirely. It was time to change.
Now, I’ve named two children and neither has objected to what they’ve been saddled with so this should have been a doddle.
Alliteration? Nope, too comic book heroine.
The old ‘name of first pet and name of street’? Baggins Barfield. Try again.
Where was I when I got The Call? On a ferry approaching Dover. Something White? Something Cliff. Chanelle Ferry? Nope.
How about combining the name of a family member and someone famous? Youngest daughter’s middle name is nice. I’ve just been skiing and Chemmy Alcott is a pretty good female role model Yep. Louisa Alcott. That’ll do nicely. Oh…
Friends and family were exceedingly helpful and I’ll be forever grateful for the suggestions of Hooty McBoob, Lavinia Lustworth, Monica De Plume and others far too indecent for public viewing!
At this point my husband got out the map and we started on the bad puns. Say almost hello to Heather Alderley, Olivia Yorke and Louisa Canterbury. Historical maybe, but not very romantic.
The children decide to join in the game and draw on their extensive knowledge of CBeebies characters, but I don’t think Katie Morag Tumble is quite the image I’m going for.
I’m tearing my hair out and wondering if I’ll ever be able to reply to Sarah or if I really will be going with Anne Onymous after all.
And then the cat wanders in. Old, arthritic, getting bonier by the day and the only one the children didn’t land with something utterly ridiculous. Most of my writing takes place with him slumped across my legs or lying across my arm with his head on the laptop (I blame him for the typos). So in tribute to him I’ve stolen his name. The other half is one of mine.
I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.