miladyinsanity saved my bacon and gave me a topic to blog about.
She asked me how I picked my pen name.
I’m actually not sure how I got the Anya part. However, a long time ago I had a lucid dream. I had a great deal of lucidity in this particular one and, as I usually do, took the opportunity to fly. Have you ever flown in a lucid dream? Very cool! Anyway, during the course of this lucid dream, I met up with a woman who called herself Aiya. Like everyone you meet in a dream, she was some aspect of myself. That’s my theory, anyway.
Flash forward years in the future. When I cast about for a pen name, the name Aiya just popped into my head. But I couldn’t use the name Aiya, because it was too different and hard to pronounce, so I ended up with Anya. It wasn’t until after the fact I remembered that lucid flying dream I’d had and the dream aspect named Aiya.
So I guess my brain just pulled that name from my subconscious at random.
The ‘Bast’ was a nod to my love of cats. Bast, of course, being also known as Bastet — Egyptian cat goddess. Pretty cheeky of me to take the name of a goddess, wasn’t it? I hope a lightning bolt doesn’t strike me down one day.
I liked the name because it was simple. There are few syllables and I think the name is fairly easy to remember. I do get a lot of “Anya Blast”. I occasionally have to google “Anya Blast” because people list me that way so often.
The name is my name now. I answer to it all the time.
One formula for selecting a pen name is to take the name of your first pet and the first street you lived on. If I’d chosen my pen name this way I would be, “Pussywillow Belmont”. Yeah, so…NO. I’n not sure what genius came up with that one.
So I’ll throw this question out there to other authors. How did you pick your pen name? Or to readers…how did you pick your online “handle”.