I have a confession to make. I’m not really Ana Quinn. It’s a pen name. I am sure this will come as a shock to… well, probably no one.
I went through a long process when trying to decide on a pen name. I liked my first name (Susan), but wanted to avoid my last name. I had a long list of reasons why. Toward the top of the list was the fact that, at eleven letters long, it is not the easiest to remember. Add to that, very few people actually pronounce it (or spell it) right on the first try.
So, my original thoughts were to keep Susan, and change my last name. Since I grew up being called SusiQ, Kaye’s husband (Sparky) suggested going with something that started with “Q”. I have always loved the name Quinn, but Pookie isn’t such a big fan, so it was an easy choice. Susan Quinn. I really would be SusiQ! It was perfect.
At least until I Googled it, and found a non-fiction author named Susan Quinn and a YA author named Susan Kaye Quinn. (Ironically, my first name, Kaye’s pen name, my pen name. We got a good laugh over that.) Actually, something good did come out of the situation – Susan Kaye Quinn is a great author to follow on twitter, and her book sounds great, too. 🙂 (I bought it for my nook, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.)
At that point, the name game began. I decided I really wanted to keep Quinn, so I started trying to figure out names to go with it. Between Kaye, Sparky, Pookie, my mom and I, we debated names for days. Ultimately, we decided on Ana because it was a shortened version of my great-grandmothers name. I was happy.
So, for the past two months, I have been living a dual life as Susi and Ana. Actually, this isn’t a bad thing. It allows me to keep a separate email, twitter, Facebook, etc. for writing and personal endeavors. This is a good thing.
I find it amusing that, despite all the years Kaye and I have known each other, we have really become Kaye and Ana to one another. When we get together, we tend to use our real and pen names interchangeably. Even our husbands do it, and we refer to them as Pookie and Sparky. (They still use real names for one another.)
There is only one problem with this. I don’t feel like Ana. The name just isn’t me. People say “Ana” and I say “Who?”
Part of the reason for wanting to have Quinn as my last name was because I have been signing emails as SQ for years. My other (rarely used) twitter account starts with SQ as does my email address. I identify with the initials SQ; it is part of who I am. I wanted to carry that over. But when Susan didn’t work, I forgot my motivation in choosing the surname I did.
Kaye signs emails to me with “K”. Earlier this week, she commented that she can do that regardless of who she is – both names start with K. I joked back that Ana was short for Savana (another name I like for a daughter and Pookie doesn’t), so I could do SQ either way, too.
It was the ah-ha moment. I have been saying for weeks I really wasn’t happy with the name I chose, but couldn’t pinpoint why. I suddenly understood. I hadn’t chosen a name I could relate to.
Within minutes, Kaye came back saying she loved Savana Quinn, it sounded more like me, and definitely sounded great name for a romance writer. (It’s not yet. I Googled it. 🙂 ) I agreed, but didn’t know how to go about changing it. She said, “Blog about it.” So here we are.
I definitely want to make the change. I feel like it is better to change it now than six months from now, especially since I haven’t sent any queries yet. Still, I am worried that people won’t know who I am. Two months isn’t that long of a time, but in that time, I have managed to “Ana Quinn” from non-existent to easily found with a Google search. I have over 100 twitter followers. While I could just change my twitter name, will people still know who I am? Do I really want to start over? And how do I do that? I really would love to make the change, but I don’t know where to start.
So here is what I have done so far (or am in process of doing):
- I registered savanaquinn.com and redirected anaquinn.com to it. (I bet you didn’t even know that anaquinn.com existed. It is still under construction, but will hopefully be up and running soon.)
- I changed my display name on Word Press.
- I changed my display name on Twitter and Facebook.
- I updated the tags on all of our earlier posts from Ana to Savana
I am sure I am missing things. Let me know if you can think of anything else I need to change. Any advice would be great!
Oh, and what are your thoughts on the new name? 🙂
~♥~ SQ ~♥~ (Sorry, I couldn’t resist 😉 )