I will be the first to admit I am guilty of reading a book just because of the author’s name. Things get interesting when an established author decides to slip past the spotlight and write something secretly under a formal pseudonym – more commonly known as a pen name. Many authors have chosen to publish by a pen name: Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, & Robert Galbraith. Why do any authors spend years of their life crafting their novels, only to slap another name on them?
Writers with very common names are known to choose something less normal so that they can stand out. When writing specifically to a certain genre, having an appropriate pen name may help set the tone of the whole project. On the topic of style, while anyone of any sex can write by any style, certain styles are dominated by certain genders. Finally, some are just scared of rejection, or their content will get them in legal trouble – or, like me, they feel being a writer will affect their chances of employment when going for a job. Everyone likes to have a secret, and the idea of having a hidden literary identity is about as close to being Batman as you’ll ever get. Why did I choose Sarah Pay’lynn?
In 2010 I found it bothersome that Sarah Palin had the incredible ability to put her foot in her mouth every time she opened it. She was uninformed, inarticulate, and she said embarrassingly stupid things. Yet, I was impressed by the massive attention she got for it. I personally couldn’t get enough of her, and would look forward to hearing her speak just to see how she would outdo herself.
At this same time I was known on Twitter for posting the strangest, dumbest, and sometimes alarming statements. And, in real life I also could say the things that everyone is afraid to say or just didn’t think of. Sometimes I ask silly questions; things I should know the answer to, or things that nobody would ever think to ask. Perceived as blonde or ditsy, I am often misunderstood – inadvertently relating to Sarah Palin.
Since then, the real Sarah Palin has done little to dispel concerns that she can’t articulate thoughts that aren’t pre-programmed. However, I have toned down my posts on social media platforms, and I use this name for extended purposes with hope that I can still get the same amount of attention, but with a more constructive outcome.