What is in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
I gathered Bill was saying that what we call ourselves doesn’t change the people that we are. I have to disagree with him. If that were the case, then I would not have chosen Angelique Michaels as my pen name.
I’m not famous. I don’t have a need to hide from the world; but having a pen name allows me to step out of one skin — the one I wear daily — and into the skin of the writer that I am. Trinae waits by the door while Angelique works. When Angelique is finished, she allows Trinae back in. Sounds crazy, I know, but it works for me.
I discovered the technique in college. I was acting in a play and (having never acted in a play before) found myself a mass of nerves. A classmate explained that while on the stage, I wasn’t Trinae. I was just a prostitute in a brothel. The audience knew nothing of us as students, but as characters. And it was the characters the audience came to see.
It would be a few years later before I realized that the same principle applied to my writing. When I wrote, I wasn’t Trinae. Trinae wasn’t a writer, but Angelique was. And from there, both my writing and non-writing selves entered into a partnership that I hope will be successful.
So how did I come up with the name Angelique Michaels? It was really simple. One of my middle names (I have two) is Angelique. My oldest son’s name is Michael. I said the name a few times and absolutely loved the way it sounded. Maybe one day, I’ll love the way it looks on the cover of my first published novel.