Lots of authors use a pen name and they do so for various reasons. There's also a lot of reasons I have no intention of using one. Here's my list.
1.) I like my name.
It's short. It's sweet. It's easy to remember. Kelli Evans. It's not complicated. It's not difficult to pronounce or search for and it sounds just hip enough to be the name of an author of the types of books I write.
2.) This is who I am.
I've never felt more defined by a description in my life than I am by this one word - writer. I eat, breathe, sleep, and sweat this stuff. I never take a break. Sure, there are times when I'm not at the keyboard but my brain is going nonstop. There are times when I'm doing dishes, watching TV or having tea with a friend and I'll have to stop (some times in mid-sentence) to jot something down or to text myself an e-mail about a plot twist, or a new idea for a story, or maybe it's that elusive last line. I'm not a preschool teacher, firefighter, EMT, Hairdresser, fact checker, financial analyst first and foremost, I'm a writer. This is not my hobby this is my life. It's what I do and it's who I am.
3.) Lastly and arguably most importantly I am not ashamed.
I am not ashamed of what I write. I'm proud. Romance is the most widely read genre in America. Why on earth would I be ashamed of that? My heroines are strong women who find happiness AND partnership. My books are funny, smart and sexy. Yes, I write descriptive sex scenes but ALL my scenes are descriptive.
What in the world is wrong with sex? It's natural, it's normal, it's everywhere. You watch it protrayed in movies and on TV. What about Ian Fleming do we chastise him for writing sex into James Bond books? Do we question whether Stephen King has ever actually killed someone? Is JK Rowling really a warlock?
So why then do people think romance writers are sluts? Why does the sex in my books have to be derivitives of my own personal experiences? Why then are my books considered smut? Why is female satisfaction so scary that a book that writes about that is labeled filth? Porn? Trash?
I don't know.
But I'm not ashamed of it. Even if I have to go around and own that word, just like left-winged politcians have done with the word libral, or what rap artists have done with the "n word." If I have to own the word smut then so be it.
But I refuse - I refuse to hide from it. I'm not ashamed to write romance novels, I'm not ashamed to read them, and I'm not going to hide from those who are afraid of them or know really too little about them to understand what they are.
This is my name, my REAL name. Kelli Evans and for the forseeable future that's what you'll find all my books written under. I hope you dive into one of them. Even if you've never picked up a romance before. Give it a shot. I can pretty much promise that it won't bite ... unless you like that kind of thing ;)