Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dogs and name calling



I was thinking about pen names today and the discussion we've been having about why we choose a particular name and why we feel we need a different name to write what we do. It comes back to what we call what we write. For most of us here, I think the label erotic historical romance writer sits quite comfortably on our shoulders. But for some people there is no such thing as erotic romance. It's just another name for erotica or smut or porn.

And we're all individuals, and different words produce different emotional responses. Personally, I don't mind being told I write smut, and sometimes I'm aware that I'm treading a delicate line between erotic romance and erotica but I definitely don't write porn. Our sub-genre is so new and boundary breaking that the lines are always blurring and the definitions are a changing. I like to think of myself and all these great authors on this blog as pioneers.

I'm climbing down off my soap box here to tell you why I chose my pen name. It was quite simple, really. I kept Kate because I know I'll never remember to answer to anything else and I chose Pearce, well, because it's a family name and as my family don't really approve of what I write, it gives me a little giggle every time I see it on a book cover.

The picture at the top is from a painting by Sir Edwin Landseer, entitled 'Cavalier's Pets'. What does it have to do with your blog today, I hear you ask? Well not much, except that I'd love to write a book about the English Civil War (Cavaliers and Roundheads.) The dogs in the painting are called Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and I have one who is the spitting image on the dog on the right. My little piece of living history and a true romantic despite his small stature.

Here's wishing everyone a splendid Valentines Day!

15 comments:

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maggie Robinson said...

I'll be sheleved near Nora Roberts if I get published, so I'll keep my name. But if I became naughtier, I expect I'd choose a pen name. I work in a high school library and the kids need no additional stimulation.

Pam Rosenthal said...

I wouldn't be surprised if every story of a pen name (at least from a female erotic writer) has HER MOTHER lurking somewhere, if not as a protagonist, in a serious cameo role. Mine does, anyway.

Sharon Page said...

My pen name story, alas, is not so rich in meaning. I flirted with "Paige Turner", kept the Page and went with Sharon at my husband's suggestion (which I assume means he saw "Basic Instinct"). I actually caught myself signing the check for my gas bill as "Sharon Page"!

seton said...

I always thought Julia Quinn was very smart picking Quinn for her last name so that she would be shelved next to Amanda Quick.

I love the Landseer. Its gorgeous!

If you want to read a good romance set during the English Civil War, I would recommend Gail Link's Never Call It Loving. It has a Beauty & the Beast theme and has a torture scene in the beginning (if you are squeamish about those)

Shelli Stevens said...

That whole porn/erotic line can be frustrating. So many people just don't know the difference. And one thing I've noticed, is a lot of those same people consider a book with ANY love scene the same.

Pam Rosenthal said...

I did briefly consider having a romance pseudonym just because "Pam Rosenthal" just didn't sound like a romance writer's name. But when I realized it's because it sounds... well, IS... so obviously Jewish -- I decided I had to go with it.

I hasten to add (AND TO STRESS) that it wasn't that I in any way feared antisemitism. But only that "Pam Rosenthal" just doesn't have those Western European or middle-American tones that seem to suggest "genre writer." But then I thought, well, why SHOULDN'T the name "Pam Rosenthal" suggest "genre writer"?
And interestingly, in the first discussion of Almost a Gentleman that I caught on an All About Romance message board, someone did say, "good for her that she didn't change her name."

Jane Lockwood said...

Kate, I'd love to write about the (English) Civil War period too--all that wonderful ready-made conflict and guys with long curly hair wearing lace.

Colette Gale said...

Pam, I must confess, as I did in my previous post, that there's nary a whiff nor a hint of my mother in my name...but perhaps I'm the exception that proves the rule!

Seton, how wild that you mention Gail Link! I don't know why that name popped in my head last week for the first time in ages...but funny thing is, when I lived in Philadelphia, I met Gail once or twice at the bookstore she worked at (a Waldenbooks or something) and thought it was so cool that a book store manager was also a romance author!

Jane, dear, you can have your own lace and curly-haired man any time you want if you provide your husband with the proper accoutrements.

Pam Rosenthal said...

I mean mother as in need-a-pseud-to-hide-from... will tell more, perhaps in my next post.

seton said...

colettegale, that's interesting about Gail Link. I didnt know she was still around. I never see her books around here

Kate Pearce said...

Pam-are you psychic?
Pearce is my mother's maiden name :)


I did start writing a Cavalier Roundhead story but I don't have time anymore-not sure if they'd be a market in the U.S.

Colette Gale said...

OH, Pam, I see what you mean now. Doh! Of course you're right. I told my mother she couldn't read my Phantom book at first, but she said she was going to find it any way and read it.

Seton, I haven't seen any Gail Link books either--this was more than ten years ago that I saw her and met her. I do occasionally think of her, and yesterday or last week happened to be one of those days when I did!

Little Lamb Lost said...

It is fun to hear about how people decided upon pen name or whether even to have a pseudonym at all.

Robin L. Rotham said...

My mother is supposedly fine with what I write -- it's my mother-in-law who's the main impetus for my pen name. Some of you have heard this before, but MIL picked up a Nora book at a garage sale last summer and chucked it after a few chapters, saying, "I can't believe people write trash like that!" NORA!

Incidentally, this is also the woman who told her granddaughter she needed a blow-job. (Guess who had a runny nose?) When I pulled her aside and explained the most popular definition of that particular phrase, her response was, "Gross!"

I can't even imagine how she'd react to what I write. (shudder)