Friday, May 20, 2011

Identity Crisis

Regardless of how much I whine, I feel like I'm making positive strides in my career. I'm getting closer to... something. And as I get closer to having to make decisions that I'm stuck with, like the name I'm using to write, the more I question the choices I've made.

I chose Alexandra Frost as my pen name waaaaay back in 2005. I'd always liked the name Alexandra. My mom had actually intended to name me that but they gave cesarean mothers a lot more morophine back then and for whatever reason, that's not what happened. Frost was just a name that sounded good with it. So I went with it.

The Mavens had always told us if we pick a pen name we should use our real first name. That no matter what your last name is, when someone yells "Bob" and that's really your name, there's less confusion. The problem... I hate my name. I've never really cared for it at all. It probably suits me, but the sound of it grates on my soul like listening to my own voice on a recording. Bleh. So I'd deliberately picked something different.

I'm questioning it now. Now the name sounds too cheesy. I can't say it without making a face. I just read a blog by Angela James with Carina Press and that's one of her points on picking a different name (so, also, is sounding like a porn star). So Alexandra Frost has to go. I started brainstorming. Came up with several options, although usually when I Googled them, I found they were strippers or had murdered their children (crossed off the list). Then I uncovered a NYT bestseller named Andrea Kane, so that eliminated any rhyming names (I kept Lane). And I narrowed it down to about 7. On Facebook, I posted a question and asked people to vote on what name they liked the best.

I decided I really liked Andrea Bennett and so did everyone else. Changed all my stuff to say it. Then realized if I sell to Desire, they have someone with that last name. I don't care, but I don't get to decide necessarily. So, if that's a problem, I have to pick something else. Back to square one.

I tried a Quibblo quiz but it wouldn't work. So, vote in the comments for your favorite!

- Andrea Bennett
- Andrea Wilde
- Andrea Lane
- Andrea Laurenti
- Andrea Lawrence
- Andrea Frost
- Andrea Winters
- Keep Alexandra Frost

Don't like any of these? Suggest a different one! I could use some suggestions in case what I pick doesn't pan out. How do you feel about your name? Love it or hate it? Sometimes I wonder what our parents are thinking...


PM's Mother said...

My full given name is Laura Anne. Until I started to school (when I was 6 years old) every one called me by that name. Since I disliked the name Laura I opted to go by Anne in school (and everywhere else) and so it has been -- except for some records that require full given name, which creates confusion. BUT , if I had known at age six that I was going to marry a gentleman with the surname of Lyerly I would have opted for Laura. Now don't you think that would roll easier off the tongue -- Laura Lyerly? It's too late to change now. Be careful which name you select.

Maven Linda said...

I love Andrea Bennett; it's YOU, somehow. Second choice would be Andrea Lawrence.

Playground Monitor said...

My first choice would be Andrea Lawrence because it's your name with the exception of that one letter in your surname. My second choice would be Andrea Bennett.

I only had one name -- Marilyn. No middle name. It's a long story. But I do have one funny story. I went to college back in the olden days when you actually signed your name to the card in the little pocket in the front of a library book. You also had to put your dorm name and room number. For 3 years I signed "Marilyn Lyerly, Leatherwood 320" and no one said a word. Then one night some twerp tells me I have to put a middle initial. "I don't have one," I told him. "But the rules say you have to put a middle initial." "But I don't have one!" I even showed him my university ID. "But you have to put a middle initial on the card."

So I took the card back, placed an X between my first and last names and slid the card back to him.

He smiled, happy that I'd obeyed the rules. Then he looked at the card. "What does the X stand for?"

"NOTHING! I don't have a middle name but since you insisted I put a middle initial, I chose X."

I just knew he was going to call campus security and have me charged with falsifying my identity.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I like Bennett or Lawrence. None of the others seem to be YOU. Thinking about it, picturing the name ON the book, Lawrence looks very nice, so I that would be my first choice, with Bennett right behind. -- LJ

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Andrea my dear, I am SO with you on hating my name. I wanted a pretty pen name, I really did. But things have a way of working out different than you expect and I am therefore Lynn Raye Harris. I don't like it, but it is different. There are no others, that's for sure.

That said, I was thinking about you and your dilemma the other day. And wondering what was wrong with your real name. There is no other one out there. And I like the Lawrence spelling, because I think it's probably easier for people.

Andrea Lawrence. I like it best of all.

Smarty Pants said...

Out of curiousity, looked to see if was available and apparently its a premium domain available for the bargain price if $1700! Ha! Whatever. If I go with that it will just have to be or something.

Do you all know how hard it will be for me to deliberately spell my name wrong? Oi. :)

robertsonreads said...

Andrea Lawrence has a nice flow to it - my choice for you.

My name is fine and there are not a lot of "Gingers" and no it is not short for Virginia. At least it is not Apple, what the *&^%$, seriously.

Anonymous said...

I guess you should go with the name you find the most comfortable. If you truly hate your name, will seeing it on books on the library or bookstore shelves bug you or help you like it? I went with my maiden name. It might not have a lot of meaning in the literary community but well, it is mine, and I'm also a huge Bruce fan. For me it was win-win.

Smarty Pants said...

Kay - I don't think I'd mind seeing it on a book cover at all. If it was MY book, they could call me Bubba.

I would have to spell it with a W because its less confusing. The Lawrence never bothered me as much as the Andrea, but like it or not, its my name, so I should use it, if not a different last name. And maybe, when I do get married, I'll have a little more personal distance from it.

Smarty Pants said...

Blogger is being mean to Rhonda Nelson, but she's recommended changing Bennett to Beckett if necessary and the domain is available.

In the meantime, I just purchased and it won't matter what the last name is for now. :)

Smarty Pants said...

Rhonda has also suggested:

Andrea Grey or Gray

Gray is my favorite color. URL is taken, but what's new.

Problem Child said...

Just say your name out loud several times. Feel it roll off your tongue. For me, the "ly" and the "L" get scrambled together.

As for domain names, booksbykimberly has worked well for me.

Angel said...

I like Bennett or Beckett.


PM's Mother said...

With the choices you have given, my preference is Andrea Winters.

word verif: uresse as in
u ressel with this long enough and it will be solved.

Maven Linda said...

Andrea Bennett sounds as if she could kick butt and take names. And you're right. "Lawrence" and "Laurence" could give you a problem. I hadn't thought of that until you pointed it out.

Katherine Bone said...

I like your name just the way it is, Andrea. It's a beautiful name!

I vote for you being you! ;)