Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday's Muse: Why a Pen Name?

I've seen this one making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, and the answer is always as unique as the individual answering. We all have our reasons for either having them or not having them. And they are rarely what others believe. So here is a little about why I chose a pen name.

I didn't come onto the writing scene until 2006 when I received my first contract. Then my first book came out in 2007. When I was going through the process with that first book, I was told to pick a pen name. My editor told me that due to the fact that I write erotic romance and am a single mom of three, I should go with a pen name and not use my real name. Not all editors will give that advice. And good or bad for other people, it was the right advice for me.

I chose Lacey Thorn and haven't looked back. It is unfortunate that people can be judgemental when it comes to things that they either don't know or don't what to know. Erotica is a hot spot for many. Writing it has led me to be considered many things by many people. It no longer startles or upsets me. Honestly, it saddens me.

I'm a single mom with three kids. Though some people in my community are aware of what I write, not everyone is. I taught preschool for years. I love kids and love working with them. But I write erotic romance in my free time and there are those that think I can't or shouldn't do both. They are the same people who would force me to choose.

As far as it seems we've come, we still have a long ways to go. Only when we learn not to judge others can we really appreciate the diversity that our world holds. Writing erotica makes me no more of a slut than writing horror make Stephen King a serial killer. It's what we write, not who we are. Not all accountants are boring. Not all lawyers are evil. Etc...

I love what I do. Period. I love writing and creating characters and stories from my imagination. I like taking the reader into the bedroom and opening up a new world for them. Relationships involve sex, ans sex is a beautiful expression of love and lust. People have sex. It can be sensual, dirty and wild. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So maybe a pen name wasn't your choice. That's okay. I won't judge you for it. I just ask that you return the favor. My kids come first and if writing under a different name allows them protection from snooty people who would prefer to talk about their mother instead of meeting her... Well, then. I have no regrets. On the name or the career. Hopefully, you don't either.

Happy Reading!

Lacey Thorn
It's your world...unlaced

Twitter: @laceythorn1
Facebook: Author Lacey Thorn


  1. I hear a lot of authors choose a pen name for this same reason, protection for their children which is very important or that their family would disapprove. People can be so judgmental which is ridiculous. Author's creativity is why readers get great stories to read; it doesn't mean they live what they write. It's fiction, not an autobiography.

  2. Many people have difficulty accepting anything sexual or alternative lifestyle. I use a pen name. My own family, including my elderly mother and adult sons, know what I write (erotic romance and also m/m fantasy) and are a little mystified but otherwise have no problem. But my husband's family would frown on the erotic and gay content, so I conceal my identity primarily from them. I wish I didn't have to. They still believe I have yet to sell my writing, which is far from the case. But there you have it.

    For erotic romance writers who have a social standing, are teachers or public employees, or have young children to protect, I'd also side with using a pen name. Anyone who wants to can find out who is behind a pen name, but they usually won't bother, so why make it easy for intolerant people to make you a target?

  3. I agree with both of you!! It is fiction. I laugh every time someone asks me if my books are based on my life. I automatically go to my shifter series and say that although I've dated some hairy men, I'm pretty sure they weren't werewolves. LOL
    The majority of my family is okay with what I write. But many aren't. It make me sad that my own family judges instead of being happy for my success. In all honesty that is why I stopped writing for a bit and went back to school. But I learned that happiness is within me...not in pleasing them. So I'm back to writing and loving every moment of it.

    1. So happy to have you back writing, Lacey! I missed you when you weren't.

  4. Ahhh! Thanks so much! I really missed it too. It was like a big part of me was missing. I won't be doing that again! :)