May 14th, 2007
How I picked my pen name

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”.

9 comments to “How I picked my pen name”

  1. i’m an idiot and use my real name. i just bought a writer’s book and cracked it open yesterday to the page that said – NEVER do that because of stalkers and other kinda scary peeps out there. Well hell. Too late for me – not even going to try and rebuild myself at this point.

  2. how i picked my handle,
    well my first name. which for me is sort of a big thing because when i was growing up I absolutley, positively detested with every bone in my body. i have come to terms with my name and i ADORE it now. you don’t come across many 25 year old Barbara’s anymore. and well, the dorky… that came from my brothers. we were picking a instant messaging name and the middle one said, well what about dorky? we combined that with me and eversince, i have been dorkybarb. it fits me, i think atleast

  3. Hey Rhian, I just rescued you from the spam folder again. What is UP with you, woman! LMAO.

    Eventually the spam catcher thingie will stop identifying your comments as spam.

  4. I told you, Anya, it’s the porn…I mean, kinky sex stuff. That’s why Rhian’s comments go to the spam folder. *gg*

    So I should wait until I remember a dream. I remembered one a few days ago (I rarely do) and have forgotten it already. Back to the drawing board.

    On the upside, I only need a last name.

    Thanks for answering my question!

  5. what – you didn’t like my suggestion of an emoticon or glyph as pen name May? I think you should use “Kasnick” as your last name…i know you can figure out how i came up with that!!
    ps – all the sex stuff is in white font so it’s SUBLIMINAL. Damn spam filters.

  6. Ha! That’s great, Barb. I like the name Barbara. It’s a got a sound to it. I like the name Margaret for the same reason. Plus, every Barbara I’ve ever known I’ve liked a lot.

    The dork part, well…that could totally fit me too.

  7. Got a GOOD sound to it. OY. Where’s the coffee pot? Clearly I haven’t had enough.

  8. I like the way you came up with your penname, Anya. I’ve always thought it was a beautiful name. And I LOVE lucid flying dreams! There’s really nothing to compare. I keep a dream journal and jot down all I can remember about them.

    I chose my pseudonym carefully because I knew I’d be using it for a long time and it was important that I like it and feel it truly embodied who I am. It does. 😀

    “Daisy” was the first name of my paternal grandmother. She had a thick Irish brogue, wicked sense of humor and endless supply of fascinating tales. “Dexter” comes from Cary Grant’s character, C.K. Dexter Haven, in Philadelphia Story. For me, Grant embodied charm, humor and sex appeal–a difficult combination to pull off. “Dobbs” is a shortened version of my maiden name.

    I’ve been DDD for so many years “she’s” truly a part of me. I’m quite comfortable answering to the name and often forget to answer to my own name. LOL. I use a penname for various reasons, including privacy. In addition, my real name is too clunky and complicated for the cover of a romance novel.

  9. I love the name Daisy Dexter Dobbs — it’s one you never forget!