Wednesday 9 May 2012

The write name matters

Juliet Archer is right. (See comment on first blog - and do check out her books: re-workings of Jane Austen plots. Excellent reading.). Deciding what to call yourself, as a writer, requires some thinking about. There are two options.

Option 1: Be yourself.
Plus points are that it's easy to remember who you are (until dementia takes over, when you have to rely on friends and family!). And it stops that look of vague bewilderment crossing your face when being introduced as a guest speaker. Or seeing a poster with your face and stranger's name.  It also makes the banking of one's meagre royalties easier, and stops HMRC from going into meltdown every time you fill in a self-assessment form.

Option 2: Be someone else.
 Initially, that's what I was going to do. I wanted a different name for the author of Diamond Girl. As it is going to be my first 'adult' novel, I thought I'd like to create a new identity to go with it. And I wanted something that would place my books at eye-level on the bookshop shelf. And suggest that the book was a historical novel. Thus Victoria Collins was born: Victoria after the Queen; Collins after Wilkie Collins, writer of the first detective novel. Great name! Or so I thought.

Alas, just as I was beginning to develop a split personality and quite enjoying it, the negative response from the agent pinged into my in-box. Change of plan. To launch as an unknown e-book writer seemed a bit risky. How would anyone who already knew me, find me? A quick trawl on the internet also threw up a couple of other Victoria Collins. Both established writers, both with blogs. My alter-ego had competition.

However, Carol Hedges existed as a known entity, and had a presence on Amazon, and other sites. It seemed daft to turn my back on what was already set up and running. So, sadly, last week Victoria and I parted company. Purely for commercial reasons. But I like to think that she hasn't completely gone away; that she is still out there, somwehere. A spiky, scatty version of me ... in a bonnet and crinoline.


  1. So who shall I meet when we next have coffee - Carol or Victoria? I suppose the bonnet/crinoline might give me a clue!

  2. Victoia is the one scoffing cake!!!


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