Putting a Face With A (Pen) Name

Or part of a face at least…

Portrait

I have seen a lot of blogs this week about pen names, namely because author Kristen Lamb has been blogging about pen names. In most cases, a pen name is more trouble than its worth. It takes a massive effort to build a person from scratch. An even bigger effort if you have a good reason not to use your real name and can only enlist the help of a few of your trusted friends and family members to create your new persona.

I chose to use a pen name because BLOOD TOY includes some controversial and adult content. While I am sure the majority of my colleagues and clients would take no issue with me because of it, I chose not to market my real name in association with my writing, as I already market it in association with my day job.

My pen name does have personal significance to me beyond marketability.  My first initials are actually B.K., and the last name I chose for my pen came very near to being my real first name. My mother wanted to name me Rain with a middle initial E so my nickname could be Rainy. My father vetoed the idea.  (Note: please don’t pronounce my pen name Rainy!)

For weeks, I have used the cover of my upcoming novel, BLOOD TOY, as my profile picture. While I wish I looked like Diane Woods, that’s actually me in the hat. I took inspiration from Ann Andrews’ profile picture on her FB author page, though the only hat with a brim I could find was one my grandmother used to call my go-to-hell hat. My husband took dozens of pictures to get one that made me look like an author and a real person without giving away my identity.

Funny enough this photo was not even one he intended to be in the consideration set. Sitting on the floor taking pictures of me pretending to read, he thought, “Hey, nice cleavage shot.” And this was the result. (Well after I applied a focal black and white filter and soft glow.) I love how it turned out!

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