When I was first offered the chance to post on the blog, one side of me snapped it up (the side that held the mouse, presumably). The other side of me froze, quailed and whimpered something along the lines of "Thank God I have a pen name, then no-one will know it's me!"
And this is something I have often been asked about by my non-writer friends. Why do I insist on using a pen name? Why don't I want anyone to know it's me?
Over on this side of the fence, of course, pen names are nothing new, and reasons for and methods of choosing them I'm sure vary according to the writer. But for me, it all came down to that desire expressed by Charlotte Bronte: the power to walk invisible. The ability to write whatever I chose without being judged by all who crossed my path.
In fact, mu slightly pretentious young self even chose her first pen name based on her own initials, probably with the forlorn hope of achieving Currer Bell's fame. Well, if using my initials is a marker of success, I'm not sure what it says about me that my current pen name contains neither, thanks to the discovery of the name Tanith and the acquisition of a husband (alright, gorgeous husband - stop looking over my shoulder!)
My husband's family, incidentally, are privy to the secret of my pen name. This is what happens when you drink one too many Mojitos in their company. They're thrilled to bits about my contract and are keen to buy my first novel immediately on its release in June; all good, except for one thing.
See, my in-laws have this strange idea that, in personality terms, I'm whiter than white.
I have no idea where they got this from. My husband likes to tell me that I "act whiter than white" in front of them, which I can only assume means I neither swear nor discuss my favourite sexual positions, both things I think are quite reasonable to avoid doing in front of one's mother-in-law. Nevertheless, they have this opinion.
And they're planning to read "The Hand He Dealt". A novel which, among other things, includes f/f sex, threesomes and at least one rather graphically-described interlude involving a strap-on.
So I can't wait until June, when my novel will finally be released and my dream of being a published writer will finally come true.
But, at the same time, I'm waiting with trepidation for the day when the phone will ring and I will hear my mother-in-law's voice saying "Um... what's 'pegging'?"