Truthfully, it is a little unnerving to finally step out and let the world see what I really look like. Since I started blogging (even before that, actually), I've included a portrait of a brooding gorilla as my avatar, letting the picture become my surrogate personality. Doing so provided an element of security: it's not me they are rejecting, I told myself; it's the ape.
I remember the first time I purchased a Douglas Adams book: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. On the back cover (if memory serves me correctly), there was this photo of a man whose face had been melted and smeared like some freak show in a house of wax. Like his rather strange stories, the photo only deepened the sense of some mystery to the man behind the words. At the time, I thought it was rather cool. Mayber there was something of that for me, too, in using the avatar. As immature as it sounds, I liked the idea of cloaking myself in a shroud of mystery.
Sooner or later, though, most writers choose to face the public eye, open up and let the readers see the man behind the curtain. For me, that time has come. Gone is the angry gorilla; gone is the strange moniker of "Dostxbook", which I created some time back and has no real significance to anyone but me. I will continue to use it, though, for all my friends on the WD Forums.
Included with the idea of anonymity, using a psuedonym for my writing once held a pretty strong possibility. There are some, like Samuel Clemens, who keep their psuedonyms through the remainder of their writing lives. And while I currently choose to try publishing under my own name, I acknowledge there are good reasons for having a psuedonym. One reason is that some writers work in separate markets (e.g. in both romance and crime) and don't want to confuse their readership. One example is that of Nora Roberts, who is also J.D. Robb. Looking back through the publishing credits of Dean Koontz novels, I found that he wrote under several names before re-publishing all of his works under his birth name. For me, part of the reason behind using a psuedonym was to avoid any disappointment from family. What will they think when they read what I write? Over the last year, however, I think I have shucked off that shirt, and decided to write what I write best. Let my family think what they may.
So, here I am--for good or bad. And below is a picture of me at the office. This is the boring, accountant I refer to in my profile. Obviously, someone needs to powder the top of my head.