A very interesting question came in from a Wonderful Reader:
I have a question. My pen name is my grandmother’s name. It took a long time and a lot of thought to chose that name, but now various members of the family (grandchildren and great-grandchildren of all things — she’s been dead for over 60 years and I never knew her) are offended that I’m publishing, even daring to blog in her name. Should I change to make them all happy? Should I write only “nice” things under that name? I’d love to know how you came to your name and what you think.
(She agreed to let me post this on the main page to ask a wider audience for help, though she’s asked to remain anonymous.)
Readers, what do you think? Anyone face anything similar? How did you resolve it? What happened to your relationships with your family? With your writing? With your sense of self?
And even if it didn’t happen to you, what do you think of this? Dead for over 60 years? On the other hand, who “owns” a name? And who are we to hurt people, even if inadvertently? And what does a writer do if they can only write “nice” things?
A very fascinating set of issues here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!