***Somewhere near the title of this post, you'll see this: Vicki Batman.
I bet you are wondering if I am actually named that or is she using a pen name? It's real. *giggles* I get to say I married a superhero. (Yes, Handsome gets embarrassed when I say it, too.)
I knew I was in trouble when we went for our marriage license and the clerk called, "Bateman?" We looked at each other wondering is that us? and finally straightened her out.
Some well-meaning relative told UPI about us when a new Batman movie came out way back when. After all, he's tall, dark-headed like Batman. I'm Batman's girlfriend, Vicki. And he really had an assistant--this is so funny--named Robin. We were splashed all over the paper, radio, television. We couldn't answer the phones.
So when I began writing, lots of people asked if Batman is my pen name. I said no and then told them I couldn't make up one as good as that. Truthfully, if it wasn't my name, I doubt I could use it. DC Comics owns "Batman."
That got me to thinking about pen names. I asked my fellow Plotting Princesses about how they chose their name and why:
Yes (using one): 5 No (aren't using one): 6
Anonymity: "I wanted to have a different, non-academic persona in Romancelandia. And I wanted some privacy since I write really steamy. My children were in Catholic grade school when I became published, and I wanted them to have privacy as well." The publisher "loved my penname because it screamed historical romance to them."
My last name "is extremely rare and hubby didn't want me to use it in case I picked up a stalker."
Branding: "I decided to use my real name…because I have already established a presence under my real name by teaching online classes to authors."
Because "my name and my brand are compatible. If I should suddenly decide to publish something steamy, I'd use a pen name because it would be outside the scope of my brand." My name "sounds British and proper enough to fit with my Regencies and yet, it still works with my U.S. set contemporary YA fantasy."
A Better Name: "…my real name is extremely common both first and last. Trying to get a website and other social media with my real name was impossible."
Didn't Change: "My husband insisted that I use my real name because he wanted everyone to know his wife was an author."
"Would have liked a pen last name, but couldn't find one that made sense and had a website available."
"I didn't see any real reason to change my name. …I wanted to make it easy for people to find my books."
"I'm just getting started but planning to use my real name. Maybe nobody but my friends and family will buy my books, but even they won't find me unless I use my real name."
"I used my real name because it was too hard to come up with a pen name. Plus, I just wanted everyone to know that was ME and MY BOOK."
Other: When I ventured "into deep erotica, I knew a completely unrelated pen name would need to be created, but the husband was too horrified; so those stories are locked away in a vault."
"I didn't want my cozy readers to pick up one of my R-rated mysteries and be mad because of the language and sex." However, "I use my real <last> name because it is unusual and because I am vain and want people to know it's me."
So Vicki??? I use my real name. I came up with a couple that would work okay, but using Batman… Well, no one forgets you easily. Unfortunately, Facebook didn't like it and I was booted off for almost three weeks. A campaign of emails, friends, and information got me back on.
My phone calls are returned. And if I get one asking for Bateman, I hang up. After all, I'm not Bateman, "I'm Batman."
How about you? Do you use a pen name or your real name and why?
Book Blurb:Blurb for San Diego or Bust: Is her Mr. Right the right Mr. Right?
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, AND MUSEITUP PUBLISHING. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"