For the last week I've been trying to come up with a good pen name, but all I could muster was Max Power. I found it strange that I couldn't think of anything because my brain is generally pretty good at coming up with random stuff that will be of little actual use. Today I realized why I was blocked: I have an unnatural obsession with my real name.
Unlike most kids, when I was in middle school I wasn't covering my notebooks with the name of any eighth grade crush. No, they were filled with the name of my only lover at the time: myself. I displayed textbook narcissism in all of my textbooks from an early age. Then it hit me, I can use at least part of my real name, just not all of it. My real name is Christopher Alan R***** but Alan doesn't sound very last namey so I'm going to go with Christopher Allen.
You're probably thinking to yourself why even have a pen name if you love your real name so much? Mostly because I don't want my mom to read blog posts like this, this and this. I know she Googles me, she's told me so. Now, onto the real reasons I think having a pen name will be cool.
I'm six feet tall and back problems run in my family. I don't plan on having a book published anytime soon but just in case I get on a trashy reality show and it leads to a book deal I want to be ready. When I walk into a bookstore to pick up a copy of my book the last thing I want to happen is that I throw out my back reaching for the bottom shelf where they keep all the R's. I'll be right on top with all the other A's.
One Night Stand Insurance. Now this is purely theoretical because I am a gentleman and a scholar, but, if by chance I'm out having a night on the town, hit the sauce a little too hard and pull out the incredibly shameful "I'm a writer and I'm in talks to have my novel turned into a movie" line I could use the name Christopher Allen. Then, the next morning, if I happen to find out that she owns more cats than pairs of panties I can sneak out without worrying about whether a friend request from her will pop on facebook the next day.
It'll make me feel like a bad-ass. The only time people ever call me Christopher Alan is when I'm in trouble. If people start calling me Christopher Allen all the time I'll feel like a bigger rebel than Brando in The Wild Ones (sorry folks Dean sucks).
So what do you think? Do you, or would you, use a pen name? If so, what would it be? Are there any cool reasons for having one that I'm forgetting about?
UPDATE: So apparently Kris Allen is the name of the guy who won American Idol in 2009 which is really making me reconsider this name! When I went on Wikipedia I looked up Christopher Allen and Chris Allen and didn't really see anyone that famous, this is disappointing.