This is one of those topics that’s going to get heated no matter how you slice it. Everyone’s opinion is welcome but keep it respectful if we can’t be kind to eachother, what hope is there for us? You can disagree without turning to slandering, name calling and general rude behavior.
Now, I wanted to hear people’s thoughts and feelings on pen names, and if you think that how they’re used can ever be considered Cultural Appropriation. For further explanation, I’ll point to myself.
I’m a female white brunette in her late twenties who married an immigrant and took on his last name. I have no cultural ties to my last name other than marrying into it. I don’t use my real name because I think it’s just too off to really sell a book. My first name is a literal Mary-Sue Name and coupled with my last name, I sound like a Red-Neck that a whirlwind dropped three countries over. On top of that, I’m also interested in several genres and styles, I think I’d be well served to adopt a few pen names for different genres. I am proud of my name still, even if I don’t use it, and my current pen names honours it and my mother.
In brainstorming up possible pen names based on my own, I feel I run into a problem of one: my current last name not reflecting my actual experience and history. Any last name contrived from it, if I’m not very careful, i think might come off as disingenuous or even deceitful. My second dilemma, finding variations of my first name and borrowing from another culture. For example, was considering the name “Amita” because it’s similar to my own, but it’s of hindu origin as well as Hebrew and Italian. Would you consider it rude to use? Does it depend on name?
I’d just love people’s overall thoughts on the matter. Can a pen name be insulting or used deceitfully? I mean, it’s one thing to hide gender, but is there a line too far?