Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, would you ever consider it?
Everything I publish is written by someone called Richard Dee. That’s not my real name.
There are a couple of possible reasons for that.
As I’ve said many times before, I don’t consider myself to be a writer. For the first fifty years of my life, I was unable to write anything, except an official report (where I used to put a number in every box and hope for the best) and the occasional postcard home. At school, I was told I lacked imagination and the ability to do…, well just about anything.
To go from that to (almost instantly) being someone who writes half a million words a year is just not credible. Yet it happened.
So where does it all come from?
I’m no more than the conduit. I see a film playing in my head and write down what happens. I can rewind it or play it again slowly but I can’t fast-forward. Which means that I get the story at the same time as a reader will, every piece of action or dialogue in real-time. It used to be slightly unsettling, now I find it as natural as breathing.
And why me? I have no idea why I’ve been chosen to do this. I sometimes wish that as well as giving me the stories, they would also tell me how to do the marketing once the books were finished.
It would somehow be wrong to take the credit for what they do through me, hence I don’t use my real name. Which leads us neatly on to reason two.
Otherwise known as shooting the messenger. If you don’t like what I write, take it up with the voices in my head. It has nothing to do with me. After all, I’m not Richard Dee.
You might think I’m joking. I’m someone who has been asked, publicly, for a refund on a paperback because the person didn’t like it. If that had happened to you, you might want to be someone else.
And even more importantly, when I started writing things down, I was still employed. My employer at the time was very strict about people having second sources of income. I would have to have got his permission, or potentially get sacked if I was making money outside work and not telling him.
If you’re watching, *****, Richard Dee is a nod to those happy times. Now, of course, it doesn’t matter anymore, I’m retired and answerable only to my long-suffering wife.
My real names no longer a secret, it’s just that I’ve got used to my alter-ego. I can hide behind him, he can be what I’m not (confident, outgoing, fearless) when I have to face the public and justify myself. Like in the situation mentioned above.
When people think that I’m a writer called Richard Dee.
In case you’re wondering, Richard Dee was originally chosen as it looked a lot better than my real name would have done on a book cover. I could get it in larger type without requiring two lines, leaving more room for the book’s title and a better view of the picture.
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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