My Decision to Use a Pen Name

Hello again,

I think after I’ve updated this blog to current experiences I might set up a schedule thing. So I have something new to post every Friday and Tuesday, or something. That would be organized, and while I love to plan, the execution sometimes eludes me.

So if you’re asking, “How would you know anything about writing, or publishing? What respectable writer doesn’t use every opportunity to get their book out there? You haven’t mentioned it once.”

I will explain. It has everything to do with my name. Ashe is not my real name, nor my maiden name. It’s not even my married name. Because how stupid would I be to start a blog with my married name, when I’m writing this in the first place because of all the occurrences with my current marriage?

Now I’m throwing that name away because of personal reasons, I can get into the nasty details if you so desire, but that would be more a request you would send me. The essentials is that my husband decided someone else was better than me, had an affair four months into the marriage (I paid for everything), and then left to move into a new apartment with her. I know, and that’s not even getting into the details. Why do I not care if I tell everyone this? Because, the internet is like a sink hole, if you try to hide anything from it you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If you get famous enough people will find your weaknesses, and the sore points in your past and blow it up to hurt you and your career. Jealous people do that. I figure if I have no shame, and put it all out there, you can’t really hurt me by doing it again.

Jillian Ashe is my pseudonym. For all writers out there who are wondering…Should I use a pseudonym? I think it depends. Men, you never have to change your name ever in your life, you lucky bast-, I mean lucky. Women, if you’re already married, I don’t see why you should. Not all marriages end like mine did. If you’re not married, I would suggest it. If you plan a long career, you want your writing to reflect itself, not your personal life. I don’t know how I would feel if the name on my favourite series kept changing, and how would you feel if you couldn’t change your name because of the popularity? Look at J.K. Rowling, that whole mess was terrible and delayed one of her Harry Potter books almost a year.

I chose my name for a few reasons, and I think it is a great strategy. I kept my first name. Jillian is my birth name, and I’ve had it all my life. I can count the amount of people who call me Jill on one hand, and I prefer it that way. I like my whole name. I chose Ashe, because where do you start when you are browsing a section of the bookstore? Do you start in the middle? Usually not, unless that’s where the new releases are. (But most bookstore clerks have a touch of OCD, wouldn’t you agree?) You start at the ‘A’ or at the ‘Z’ and make your way methodically through the section, occasionally stopping at something shiny. ‘Z’ was way too hard, what ‘Z’ name would sound good, and not ridiculous? I gave up after a few seconds. ‘A’ was much easier and it tends to be a smaller section in the store. ‘B’, ‘G’, and ‘M’ are huge. I picked Ashe, because a phoenix rises from the ashes, ashes to ashes we all fall down, and I added the ‘e’ for aesthetics sake, I figured it looked more like a name that way.

So now you have my opinion of pseudonyms. A lot of authors have other ones too, so that when they write in different genres the names aren’t connected. Especially in romance. You also have my previous information on my book, and why it’s all changing. So if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, something you would like me to talk about or address in the next post. Just shoot me a comment or an email.

Jillian Ashe

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