About this time last year, I made the call to go with my real name rather than a pen name. I debated the merits of both and eventually voted on my real name. But lately I’ve been thinking about the whole issue of having a pen name again. It has always been an appealing option–getting to actually choose my name. Even re-inventing myself if I so chose. Privacy was always paramount. Then there’s marketability. Is my real name easy to remember? Is there anyone else out there with a similar name? PBW did a post on branding the other day that really got me thinking about that issue. And I’ve been discussing marketing with Zoe, who’s hugely enthusiastic about self-promotion (how I wish I had that girl’s energy!).
In any event, I started thinking about how I could use a variant of my real name, along with some other key concepts/ideas to come up with another pen name. There are dozens of variations on my name Kathleen. Kat. Kate. Katherine, Kathryn, Kaitlyn. Some are more common than others.
It’s very important to me that I come from Mississippi–mostly because I am intelligent, well-educated, and very much want to get it out to the general public that we’re not all a bunch of idiot, racist red-necks. It’s the hospitality state. The magnolia state. The symbol I keep coming back to is the magnolia because, well, the white-tailed deer, red fox, bottlenose dolphin, and whole plethora of other associated animals etc. didn’t lend themselves much to names. So from magnolia I pulled Nolan. Yeah, I know, it’s a stretch, but there you go.
So Kait Nolan. Short, simple, easy to spell and remember. No major anybodys come up on google or amazon. I haven’t even decided 100% that I’m going to go with a pen name (though I admit to always having leaned in that direction). But the .com was available, so I registered it. I feel a little like a geek, particularly since I’m not planning on doing any web development anytime soon (not with 3 classes to teach this semester on top of my regular 40 hour a week job). Anyway, there you have it. And yeah, I totally set up a WP blog for it–Murder and Magnolias. Not much there yet, but it’s a work in progress.