Like I told you in the first post, I’m Nell Iris…sort of anyway. Nell Iris is my pen name and it took me an unbelievably long time to come up with it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make up a fake name for yourself? Our real names are such a big part of our identity, and I had a hard enough time changing my last name when I got married, so making up something – from scratch – was almost harder than getting started on the writing.
But I want to keep my author persona separate from my real life persona, so I tried on lots of names for size until I finally settled on something I liked. And even then it was hard to actually commit to it, but one day a lovely person in my critique group needed my name for her upcoming book and suddenly I had only one day to decide. I went ahead and panicked for 30 minutes, but after I was all done with that fun activity I made a decision.
And voilà – Nell Iris was born!
“Nell Iris? THAT’S what you came up with after five months of agonizing over your pen name?” I can almost hear you think. Well, yes. I wanted something that still felt like me, so the name is to a certain degree a tweak of my legal name. I couldn’t just pick Anne Shirley and be happy about it (even though I desperately wanted to be Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid I’ve grown out of that phase by now). I wanted something meaningful, and now that the panic attack is long gone and I’ve actually committed I feel really good about it.
And while the name itself is a made-up one, the rest of me that you’ll encounter here or somewhere else online is the real thing.
I even have a picture that could be me. The long brown hair is real (for now at least – next week it might be red), my real eye color might be less bright, but it’s still green. The glasses are definitely there or I’d be stumbling around not seeing anything. Even the little lip piercing is accurate. I also love colors and rainbows, and always have a notebook and a pen in my bag because some things just can’t be written digitally on the phone.
So this is me. I hope we will become friends!