07 June, 2008

Random Musings on Becoming Dana Hunter

I'll be posting a write-up of my two (count them, two!) events with PZ Myers later on Saturday for your reading pleasure. He's a fascinating speaker, a lot funnier and interesting than he'll admit to. He's also a genuinely nice guy. Being nice doesn't mean he'll compromise his values, though, and that's certainly given me food for thought.

Right now, though, I'm coming down from an extremely eventful week, and I'm going to chew over some of the more personal ramifications. Feel free to skip. It's all navel-gazing from here, I'm afraid. Well, aside from the shameless praise of my readers, so maybe there's something in it for you after all.

Those of you who've been around here long enough, or gotten curious enough to click over to me website, know that Dana Hunter is a nom de plume. Possibly even a nom de guerre, the way things are going. I'm assuming the Seattle Skeptic's group I just joined this week is also aware of this fact, as I gave them a wee bit o' a clue in my profile (i.e., explained the above).

I've been introducing myself as Dana Hunter all week. It's the name folks know from online, ye see, and seeing as how I was meeting PZ Myers as well as a fair number of Pharyngula readers, I figured it would be simpler that way. And damn it, I like my pen name. Those of you who know my legal name know exactly why that is.

The strange thing is, I've become Dana Hunter. I'm sure every author who writes under a pseudonym goes through this at some point: moving from awkward to perfectly comfortable with the alternate identity, finding that it doesn't matter which name is given because the underlying person is the same. It's just that one name is recognized and the other's not. I'm sure this is going to get a lot more common - I already have friends I wouldn't dream of referring to by any other name than the one they use on the internet. And at least this time, I didn't have a cautious dad doing a double-take when his son introduced me under one name and he found out I was born with another.

This is also the first time I've been recognized by strangers. When I started this blog, I had no idea that was going to happen. Eventually, people coming up and saying, "You're Dana Hunter, aren't you?" will become common place. Right now, it's a novelty. And a flattering one at that. Thank you!

I'm going to take some credit for that recognition - after all, I'm the one who writes most of the shite for this cantina - but a huge chunk of the credit is down to the readers. An author is nothing without readers. Some authors forget that, and take the appreciation as their due. I never will. I may not always have the time to respond to each of you individually, but I hope I'll always manage to get across the fact that I appreciate each and every one of you. I'm constantly amazed that I managed to attract such an amazing community of readers. Writing is something of a reward in and of itself, but what I've always wanted is you - intelligent, engaging, and wonderful people who actually enjoy reading what I write. It's overwhelming to realize that's happened.

On top of that, I've roped in some truly brilliant co-bloggers. They keep this blog from degenerating into What Dana's Pissed About Now. I hope you all enjoy their perspectives as much as I do.

So, I'll go back to work on Sunday a different person than when I left. I'm one co-blogger, one Skeptic's group, two PZ lectures, and one phenominal Carnival of the Elitist Bastards linked to by Pharyngula richer. I've become Dana Hunter. None of that could have happened without you.

Don't you forget it.


Anonymous said...

As a recent newcomer to your blogs, I've been more reading than commenting. It's always difficult to come into a story that's already in progress. I do enjoy your words even when I disagree. There is more to Dana than simply the blog, but the real person behind the name is someone I'd like to get to know. But in life, that's up to the other person.

Anonymous said...

How could I not be attracted to such smart, witty and beautifully written up your nose commentary. You not only entertain me, Dana, you make me think which is my #1 gage of a great author. As far as I'm concerned if I am not learning something new my time is being wasted.

george.w said...

I like the way you apply your hob-nailed boots to the asses of the moral degenerates who parade around in morality-suits saying; "Look at meeeee!"

I do advise aspiring bloggers to be careful in choosing your pseudonym. In particular, do not choose a pseudonym while recovering from a severe head injury.

But 'Dana Hunter' is a good choice. It has that intelligent, predatory sound that should make challengers think twice before testing if the blogger's sword is a stage prop or hot-forged 154cm steel sharpened on a diamond hone.

Dana Hunter said...

All three of you absolutely made me glow today. The fact that I love and respect you all just makes your kindly words all the sweeter!