Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Personal narrative author, Jane Bullard, about pen name decision

by Jean Purcell, aka Jane Bullard

Not All Roads Lead Home, 2nd Edition: The Story of Renewed Love
Opine, USA, 2004 edition
It is important to think carefully before assigning a pen name, because it needs to be a name you can feel comfortable with for a long time. It needs to be more than a creative whim. Not All Roads Lead Home is a love story, a personal narrative, that Highland Books UK published under my pen name, Jane Bullard.

The first name, Jane, is an anagram of a given name, Jean. Some people, when introduced to me, call me Jane, and I am comfortable being addressed by either name. 

The last name for the pen name, Bullard, is a family name of my maternal grandmother and one of which I am proud. She was widowed when my mother was very young (the last of five), during the early 20th century, when most women did not work outside the home. My grandmother did tailoring and was a salesperson in a local haberdashery. 

After the pen name for the Not All Roads Lead Home manuscript came into being, I noticed an unexpected change in my writing perspective. I was more willing to edit out sections or chapters that I liked, but that did not serve the story, centrally. I felt the story more important, for example, than side-line interests I had in those years.   

Highland Books UK, took on the book for publication, when many publishers were discouraging authors of personal narratives. Later, after I formed a publishing company to enable U. S. distribution of my book, I ended up bring the story up to date 16 years later. That became the second edition. I decided to keep the pen name, for continuity. A coming of age, fictional story I've been working on will have my real name.   
Not All Roads Lead Home
Highland Books, UK, 1996 edition
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