There’s a girl out there with my same exact name, with the same exact spelling. After she friended my on Facebook I learned that we were born months apart, share the same ethnic background, even have a brother with the same name. She too has a blog right here on WordPress.Spooky right!?! At this moment she’s in medical school pursuing a career in the field I thought I was once destined for. I can’t wait for her to finish because very shortly there will be a Dr. Jamie Pope out there saving the world.
Professionally, she is going to need that name. As much as I would like to call dibs on it I can’t. Being a published romance novelist is my dream but it’s not as noble or as hard as being a doctor. There are other Jamie Pope’s out there. Jewelry designer, financial planner, musician, nutritionist, engineer, dentist and former Clemson Tigers football player. This Jamie Pope doesn’t even come up in the search results when you Google her. (How lowering…)
Now’s the right time to take on a pen name. As a teacher that decision was relatively easy for me to make. The hard part is deciding what to rename myself. There are many reasons why people choose pen names. The most popular is to separate their writing from their personal lives. Others do it for safety reasons, stalkers, fraud, etc. Some authors have multiple pen names, each with its own personality to reflect their unique writing style.
There are many authors with normal pen names. I didn’t want something normal, something easily forgettable. I wanted a name that stood out in the crowd and reflected my fun writing style, so I asked a friend for help. His first try was Brown Sugar Bacardi. Which he followed up with a, “Bow Chicka wow wow.”
Okay, I kinda, sorta loved it but knew it was way too over the top. He then suggested dropping the Brown and leaving the Sugar. Sugar. Sugar?
My father’s family is super Southern and spending a little time on Saint Helena Island(Coastal South Carolina. Check it out!) I learned that my family members who reside there don’t have typical names. I have a third or fourth cousin named Sugar, as well as one named Do’ boy(nickname,I hope). My grandmother whose name is Pearl, becomes Sissy and my aunt’s name changes from Diane to Lady. Confusing? Yes.
But I love that odd, almost backward culture of my relatives and as an homage to them I will gladly call myself Sugar. As for a sir name, I had to keep some part of myself in there so we decided on Jamison. Sugar Jamison. Over the top? A little. Uniquely me? You betcha.
As for the title to this post… I have to give credit to one of my very cute, pain in the rear former students. Every time he saw me get annoyed he would shout, “Miss Pope has left the building!” Which was caused everybody to crack up and me to lighten up. So, thank you to him for giving me a reason to use that phrase.
Your turn! What do think about pen names? Do you have one? Want one? Need one? Know a famous author with many? Have an oddly named family too? Have you ever been to Saint Helena Island? Any and all comments are welcome.