I’m having a name change-Jayne Fordham becomes Lauren Murphy- just to be confusing!

Agh! I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m sorry to be a pain in the butt, but the time has come for me to revert back to my real name, Lauren.

When I first adopted the pseudonym Jayne Fordham, (Jayne is my middle name and then I just made up Fordham) it was for online purposes. I started blogging about books online and then joining up to a range of social media sites and I was cautious about using my real name.  Though I did make it clear I was using a pseudonym.

Why did I use a pen name? Because I’m a psychologist during my day job and I am aligned with various registration bodies, I work for the Health department and I work with people who are dealing with sensitive issues. I purely adopted a pseudonym for confidentiality purposes. Though I’m sure savvy online researchers could make the link to my real name somewhere, I didn’t particularly want to make it easy. Then, I started self-publishing and it was only natural for me to continue using my pen name.

So what’s the problem?

Hmm. It seems my online world is slowly merging with the real world. I recently attended a convention and met a bunch of people whom I’ve spoken to online, they know me as Jayne and greeted me by this name. This is perfectly okay because that’s the name I’ve put out there.

But I realised I just don’t feel like a Jayne and I’ve met people whom I’ve chatted online with for quite some time who were quite surprised when they met me. When I initially chose the pseudonym, my mum told me Jayne Fordham sounded like an old person’s name! Even though she gave me Jayne as a middle name!

For the most part, my friends and family look at me like I have three heads when I say I write under a pseudonym, probably because they don’t completely understand the nature of my work. But I’ve developed an online presence over the past 2 years and I’m starting to make progress with my writing and putting feelers out for publication so I feel like now is a better time than any to revert back to my real first name, Lauren, and to continue using a pseudo- surname.

Hence…

Lauren Murphy!

I feel much more comfortable using my real first name and the surname is much more closely linked to my family history which sits far better with me than a name I made up on the spur of the moment when I created my book blog.

As a reader, I can see how annoying and confusing pseudonyms can sometimes be, so I’m sorry!

I’m still the same person; I haven’t made up anything else about myself- just to put the record straight! It’s just now I get to use my real name! YAY

How will this affect my future written work?

I intend to publish any future writing under Lauren Murphy.

The only exception will be the continuation of the Elite series, which I will continue to publish under Jayne Fordham- because it would be a nightmare to change the name halfway through the series.

And if you still call me Jayne by accident, i won’t hold it against you!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

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17 comments

  1. Well, welcome home Lauren:) I’m sure we will all be suitably confused, but as long as you’re happy, we will all get used to it!! All the best:)

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  2. Your “made up” name was my maiden name and that connection was what first interested me in your blog. Good luck with reverting to your real name, I am sure there will be plenty of confusion for a while but in the long term no doubt its the right decision.

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  3. I totally understand your need to keep your lives separate and I worry about similar things, I know some people will be able to track people down, but like you I don’t like to make it *too* easy.

    Your new name is the maiden name of an old friend of mine 😉 I’m glad you feel happy with the change, Lauren

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  4. Hi Lauren! Congratulations–a very brave decision on your part to use your real first name on your blog. I hope it feels a lot better/more comfortable for you. And if not … well, you’ve got the perfect pseudonym to return to.

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  5. Lol it’s going to feel very weird to call you Lauren for a little while! I use a nickname I got at university online, rather than my actual first name, although the two sound relatively similar, just to keep a few things separate. And with the nature of your job, I definitely understand why you chose to take a pseudonym!

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    • Thanks Bree, it probably will be a bit weird for awhile. The only nicknames i had were with my last name… so i couldn’t use any of those! I like your name, Bree- it’s short and sweet. Though i do have to stop myself from writing Brie everytime i go to type it LOL

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  6. Hello, Lauren! 🙂 I completely understand where you’re coming from. I made a “Stephanie Riass” (ie Riass for Read ina Single Sitting) account on Facebook so that I could keep my blogging and personal stuff separate, but now everyone thinks that it’s actually my surname! I’ve even been quoted in articles as Stephanie Riass!

    Not to mention that since I got married a few months back, and now people seem to think that I’ve changed my name to my husband’s surname (I haven’t), so on any given day I might be called by three separate surnames. Very confusing! 🙂

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    • lol i didn’t know people thought your surname was RIASS haha. Yes, well i’ll be getting married next year and taking my husband’s surname (though i’ll keep my own at work so i don’t have to change my registration and professional affiliations)… so i’ll be able to add another name alternative to my list!

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  7. Hi Lauren *waving*, I understand the desire to keep separate identities though I have never bothered. I use Shelleyrae online though it is my first and middle names combined and mostly people in rl know me as just Shelley. However the line has blurred considerably over the last ten years as my online life has merged with my real life in different ways.

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    • *waving back* Hi Shelleyrae! Yes, i imagine with all those book events via your library you’d be well known by your blog name. For me it was getting to the point where i was wondering whether i should introduce myself as Lauren or Jayne. If only i’d thought it through more carefully when i started then i wouldn’t be putting up this ridiculously long post about changing my name lol
      I’m just glad everyone has been so understanding!

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  8. HI Lauren…nice to ‘meet you’. It’s funny how online and real life impacts and how your identity is affected. I am Marg everywhere online and always have been but I find it really difficult to walk up to someone and say Hi, my name is Marg rather than Margaret. I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been to remember a whole other name!

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  9. Thanks Marg, it certainly did get tricky at times! It’s strange how important a name can be for us, or what meaning it brings to our identity. While i was being ‘Jayne’ i almost felt like a different person and i didn’t want to feel like that anymore. The longer i corresponded as Jayne the easier it became but i found it quite confronting when i was using that name in real life- just felt odd! I know plenty of people do it, there are many writers who use multiple pseudonyms, but it just didn’t feel right for me!

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