Writerly Things: 9/2/19: Anonymity and Its Importance
Why Some Writers Choose Pen Names.
In my case, it has to do with my past and the abuse in it. I’m sure there are others with this story to tell. I know truthfully, today, there are other authors who write with a pen name for safety reasons. Think of how much social media has changed us. The threats out there. It’s easier today for some stalker to track down their victims. Trolls do it all the time. Just ask your local police station. I’m sure there’s more than a few authors who had to report someone for crossing the line. It’s a spooky time.
Is it Fair to the Fans?
Why wouldn’t it be? Why does everyone have to know every detail of our lives down to our shoe size? Isn’t the best story we can tell what’s owed to the fans? Wouldn’t you want your favorite storytellers safe and sound? Away from harm? I’m sure J.K. Rowling has had her share of crazies just like Stephen King has his obsessed fans. The bigger you get, the more fans clamor to know everything about you. Within reason, I understand. You have to give them a bit of who you are, what you like, where your stories come from but your home address? Nope, that’s private. Where you’re at, at that particular moment? Just ask an agent who had a stalker show up at her location and attack her. Keep your privacy. I know it’s tough in today’s market but better to be safer.
Is it safer for Your Family?
Absolutely. Why do you think most authors call their kids/family members by activities/pet names so to speak? They know the hidden dangers their children could face from someone wanting to get close to that author. And maybe that fan doesn’t mean any harm, but would THEY want someone to come to their home and drill their family for their whereabouts? I always call my kids, even though their adults now, by activities. Gamer Boy and Art Girl. Safer. It gives the audience a hint at what they do, part of their lives but doesn’t go overboard with information.
Surviving the New World.
Each of us has to be aware of what we want known and not known to the public. Admittedly, I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Life can be wonderful, joyous, and amazing. It can also be cruel, sad, and unbearable. We don’t want it to get to that point. Take precautions. Don’t give your address out. Use a P.O. Box. I don’t even divulge the city I live in. I just put the state. It’s a big state and even if I said southern Ohio or western Ohio, it would be harder to track down without specifics. When you converse with fans, be careful. Especially in public areas. Make sure you’re not being followed. That someone is with you at all times. Living a life with a past like mine, I’ve learned the hard way. Even innocent situations can turn volatile fast. Trust your gut. Protect yourself out there. Your true fans will thank you as will your family.
Have a great week, take care, and God bless!