I’ve spent my entire literate life inventing pen names. And before you ask, NO—I will not tell you what my creative pen names are. It’s possible that they are already in use, or that they will be in future use. The beauty of a pen name is that you won’t find out until I want you to find out, which may be never ever ever! The long tradition of pen names testifies to a pseudonym’s usefulness or even necessity. Many women have used pen names to protect themselves from scandal, or to better their chances at publication in an industry historically dominated . . .
Dear Reader, Several years ago, I made a ridiculous decision. Amid what appeared to be some major corporate upheavals at my workplace, I quit my full-time editorial position at a large publishing house and went back to school for my doctorate in English. At the time, it made sense to me: by signing a contract, I had at least four years of guaranteed employment (as a teaching assistant) as well as a generous fellowship stipend. I could continue my editorial work in a freelance capacity. I could afford to buy a house by living in a lower-cost community. And, I thought, I . . .