That is the question…. Just kidding! Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all Shakespeare on you guys. 🙂 Last week, my friend Tanner talked about the fact that he chose not to use a pen name; this week, I’m going to talk about the reason I choose to use one.
Last night I took to Twitter and asked some of my writer friends why like using a pen name. Some of the common reasons are: they’d rather keep their personal and writing life separate, they feel their name is too common, or it doesn’t fit the genre their writing in.
I subscribe to the third train of thought. While I like my real name, it doesn’t have the whimsical tone I want as a fantasy writer. Most of my family calls me by my middle name, Claire, and that has always felt more natural to answer to than my first name. For a while, I was using my middle name on social media, but as I became more serious about forming my author platform, I felt like it still needed something more to make it stand out.
One of my favorite groups of mythical creatures are fairies. All different mythologies of fae and the like have always fascinated me. I knew that I wanted to write fantasy and fairy tale-esque stories from the beginning. I’m sure that’s not going to be all I write, but since it is a passion of mine, I wanted my pen name to reflect that.
For some reason, I’ve always thought the alternate spelling of fairy (faerie) was extremely unique and pretty. After playing around with a few different options, I finally settled on combining Claire and the spelling I adored so much to create Claerie. As soon as I typed it out, I knew it was the perfect fit.
My last name, quite honestly, came out of nowhere. I liked the combination of C and K as initials, but that was really all I had to go on. At the time, I was big into Celtic mythology, so I started looking up Irish and Gaelic last names. Kavanaugh just popped into my head one day, and it stuck.
So that’s my story. What’s yours? Do you have a pen name? How did you get it? If you don’t, why do you prefer to use your real name? Let me know in the comments!
Keep making magic, word weavers!