The following is a cross-post from my WordPress blog:
I’ve recently been asked if C.K. Brooke is my real name, and/or why I use my initials instead of my first name (Caity). Answers: Yes and no; and because of J.K. Rowling, duh!
Haha – just kidding.
‘C.K.’ are the initials of my first and last (married, not maiden) name. Not the result of a fondness for Calvin Klein (although I do love their perfume). And Brooke is my middle name (yes, after Brooke Shields). As you can see above, my first name has an unusual spelling that is not intuitive. As for my married surname, it is a 10-letter Polish name with ‘c’s and ‘z’s and ‘w’s and no one can say it, let alone spell it. So, ‘C.K. Brooke’ is a variation of my real name, and I use it not for privacy/secrecy reasons, but for plain old marketability. After all, it would be that much harder to promote a book if people struggled with pronouncing, writing and remembering the author’s name.
At first, I wondered if I would regret not seeing my ‘real’ name printed on the cover of my books. But over the last several months, I’ve gotten so used to embracing C.K. Brooke as my professional identity, I don’t think twice about it anymore. I think it would be harder if I chose a fictitious name entirely, but because my pen name still includes elements of my given name, it’s still ‘me’ enough.
In addition, no one else had it. 🙂
Do you use your pen name or your real, legal name? What reasons do you have for doing so, either way? If you use a pen name, how did you create it? Have you tried both – and which do you prefer?