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What’s in a name?

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.

Published in On My Mind

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