My brother is a poetic rapper, at least that’s the name I give for his artistry. To my untrained ears, he’s rather decent. Anyway, on the way to dropping him off at the airport early this morning, he brought up the issue of pseudonyms. I forgot the term he had for it, but it’s a pen name for an author, but in this case for a musician. Moving on.
Not only does he write lyrics, but they’re also Christian lyrics. So his views on pseudonyms: According to him, Christian musicians shouldn’t use pen names. He seemed to think it was a trend to use real names if the individual is a Christian musician. So I’m fine with that. I don’t know what’s what in the music industry, much less the Christian music industry.
I haven’t been very secretive about this, but Reena Jacobs is a pen name. So why do I use a pen name? Mostly because I don’t want people to judge me as a person because of my writing. I enjoy reading and writing erotic literature. I don’t have a personal vendetta against the LGBT community and have no problem portraying them as real people with real emotions just like everyone else. I’m also not a traditional Christian. I make up my own mind about what’s right and wrong according to the scripture rather than base my beliefs upon hearsay someone else got from another’s interpretation of the bible. After all, we’re not in ancient Rome and reliant on others to read the Word to us.
I’m rambling. Sorry. So, the pen name. Bottom line, I use a pen name because I don’t want people to judge me…to look poorly upon me because of my writings. Really, it’s my problem…my desire to put on a good face. A bit shameful when I think about it…hiding behind a cover.
Well, my brother jumped all over it. He accused me of living in sin, and the fact I used a pen name was proof of it. He’s never read any of my works, by the way. The funny thing about it all, is the wrong he told me I was doing (writing about were-tigers) wasn’t even the issue I thought other Christians would have with my work. I’m perfectly fine writing about fantastical creatures. I just think people would balk about the graphic sex in my novels. But no…it was the idea of fantasy creatures which did him in. So I mentioned Narnia and other C.S. Lewis books. Apparently C.S. Lewis is sinful too for using fantastical creatures, according to the gospel of my brother. In fact, Mr. Lewis is worse since he portrayed Aslan as the Savior. Only Jesus should play Savior roles. As if anyone can get Jesus to star in any new works.
Of course I was dumb enough to mention a novel I’m working on where the main character dabbles in witchcraft. Somehow he missed the part about her falling into negative aspects of the craft, doing very bad things (we’re talking edgy here), but then making a turn around. Nor did he hear the fact I’d share that story with Christians because I think it has a good message–no matter how deep you get, you can still change for the better. All he heard was witchcraft, and I had a one way trip to hell.
Holy cow. If my brother is so quick to send me to hell, what would people who knew me even less think? It would have been better not to mention anything to him. I certainly would have had a more peaceful ride.
Over the last week or so, agents (Nathan Bransford, Rachelle Gardner, Kristin Nelson) have addressed the topic of pen names also. Even if others may have different reason, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in a desire to use a pen name.