Exploring the Pen Name
With Guest Blogger and Erotica Author Will Belegon
(During the month of June, here at Today the Dragon Wins we explore the use of pseudonyms. Don't forget to participate in the discussion in the comment field to enter the contest for a copy of the eBook versions of Choices Meant for Gods and Apparitions. Details were posted June 1.)
One Ya Can't Use on the Bench
Discussions about pen names usually start with one of two questions: Why use one and how did you chose it? Now, as an author of erotic romance and erotica with two children, I hopefully don't need to explain my answer to question one. The last thing I need is someone talking about how the little league coach writes "dirty stories". This is not to say that I don't have friends in that area who do know what I write. But a pen name allows me to choose who knows, which is much safer. I would love it if every parent read my baseball blog or other freelance writing under my real name, but the sexy stuff is more sensitive. This is especially true given the extra scrutiny I receive in youth sports.
As to the how, I find it fun how many different stories we all have. Many of us took great care in choosing our pseudonym, particularly if writing has been something we always dreamed about growing up. But I also know authors who have chosen a name in a hurry or even taken forum polls.
My dreams of what I could do with my life did indeed contribute to my pen name, but it wasn't the dream of being a novelist. My dreams involved writing in one way: poetry, specifically song lyrics. Rock and roll immortality was at war with my athletic ambitions during my teen years. Obviously, pretending to be announced in the bottom of the ninth in the World Series was a dream in which the name my parents gave me echoed through the ballpark.
But when I dreamed about screaming guitars and even louder screaming girls, I thought about a rock star name.
So I combined another obsession with my rock god dreams. I've been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's world ever since my father put a copy of The Hobbit in my hands as a boy. So I took my first name, broke it into the Anglo-Saxon root words and then took the meaning of those and translated them into Tolkien's Sindarin Elvish language.
Thus did I emerge with the unique last name of Belegon. I paired that up with my first name and thought I had something that sounded suitable for being announced in between Nikki Sixx and Rikki Rocket.
Flash forward twenty years or so. I'm stuck in a rut, with the greatest outlet for my creative side being new ways to give business meetings. I had read a few short stories online, fan fiction mostly. I began to look at some of them and think, I can do better than that.
So I tried it. And when I needed a name to register under, I used my old rock star name, which had always remained attached to my occasional forays into poetry. My early efforts appeared online at story sites under the tag of Belegon. I dropped the first name. It was only when Alessia Brio decided that she was submitting our recent work to a real publisher that I needed a first name again. Most of my new online friends just called me "Bel."
So now I have become a man of multiple identities. My given name in its various forms, Bel, Will, Coach. I'd turn if any of them were yelled out in a mall. Of course, the one that would turn me around the fastest is also the main reason I have a pen name at all. That one is "Dad."
Get more info about Bel, his political and social views, little league, and his writing (of course!) at his blog.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."