Written by Danica Cornell
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but over the last several months, I’ve noticed a certain level of confusion when it comes to how folks should address me.
Yes, you read my opening sentence correctly.
This all came about because I decided to utilize a pen name. In fact, it wasn’t all that long ago when a friend and colleague emailed, “Should I call you, Donna, (my real name) or, Danica, (my pen name)? What about just, D?”
It’s interesting to note, the only people who struggle with this issue are my writer friends. I mean, let’s face it—most folks don’t take the time to read an author’s bio page, right? That means the vast majority of people have no earthly idea that, Danica Cornell, is my pseudonym. Of course, those who’ve known me since way-back-when just call me by my real name. That leaves those writers with whom I’ve developed a friendship to wonder, “What do I call her?”
While all of this may seem insignificant and perhaps even a bit comical, it got me thinking about how much of our identities are wrapped up in our names. Whether we’re talking about birth names, married names, professional names, or product names, these labels tend to become a big part of our identity—which, as you might imagine, is actually serious business for novelists. Needless to say, the significance of branding is precisely why I put so much thought into selecting both a pseudonym and a book series name.
Following the K.I.S.S. rule
For those of you unfamiliar with K.I.S.S., it stands for Keep It Simple Sweetie. Of course as fate would have it, my real name is, Donna Manobianco, which is anything BUT simple! Fortunately, I went into the writing business armed with a background in psychology and marketing, which means, I understood right from the get-go that most folks don’t like to think too hard when it comes to remembering the names of people or brands. In other words, I knew I needed to make things as easy as possible for my readers!
What’s in a name?
For my pen name, I selected, Danica, which originates all the way back to Slavic mythology. In fact, it was before the Eastern European Slavs were introduced to Christianity that they prayed to a deity known as Danica—the first star they saw in the morning sky. This “morning star” was thought to be the sun’s little sister. Since one of the themes in my writing has to do with good vs. evil/light vs. dark, adopting the name, Danica, as the author of the DARK STAR Series seemed like a no-brainer! As for the surname, Cornell, this is a nod to my husband’s alma mater, Cornell University, which just so happens to be located in New York, where we currently reside. Plus it’s easy to spell and remember—an important consideration indeed!
As for DARK STAR, I originally thought about naming the series after my protagonist, Dr. Rachel Cohen. However, after reflecting on this, I realized other series, (i.e., Batman, Spider Man, etc.) use the names of their superheroes for branding. Additionally, I figured DARK STAR would likely be easier for fans of science fiction and fantasy to recall than, Rachel Cohen ever would be.
With all of this in mind, I consider my top branding priority to be with my DARK STAR series followed by my pen name, Danica Cornell. Notice how, I didn’t mention, Donna, at all? So, for all of my pals who feel funny addressing me as, Danica, in the public domain, don’t fret. You’re actually helping me reinforce my brand!
Until next time…
ABOUT DANICA CORNELL:
Danica Cornell is the author of the forthcoming DARK STAR Sci-fi/Fantasy Series, soon to be published by Cool Geek Books. To learn more about Danica’s work, her love of dogs, and her support of UNICEF, please visit her website at www.danicacornell.com.
CONNECT WITH DANICA:
Danica’s Website: http://www.danicacornell.com
Danica’s Blog: http://danica-cornell.com/
Danica Cornell is a proud member of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.