A Little About my Pseudonym (Pen Name)


Yesterday, I posted a post about author branding and how I wasn’t sure how many other authors use logos. Today, I want to explain a little about my logo and the choice for my pseudonym. I sort of wanted to tie it all together (for the dozens of you who are undoubtedly reading this).

Pen names can be fun. I remember writing in my high school English class under the pseudonym “Lady Liberty”. It was freeing to know there would be a separation between my personal identity and my written one. That is not why I chose to use a pen name for my books.

Initially, it was considered after a Google search of “Ashley Willis Author” revealed to me that another writer shared my name. I didn’t want to compete for the SEO space so I decided to think of a pen name to use with my writings. My husband suggested I use AC Willis.

The reason for “AC” is simple. My maiden name is Crowe so the A stands for Ashley and the C stands for Crowe. My maiden name is extremely important to my personal identity. In fact, most people who knew me for some time referred to me only as “Crowe”. I used to waitress and wore a pentacle to work so when I would walk up to a table full of little old ladies and introduce myself as “Crowe”, I was often greeted with looks of shock and dismay….good times…

When I got married, I decided not to hyphenate but only because I wanted to have the same last name as my children. Some people still call me “Crowe” and that’s fine with me because, really, that’s who I am. So, when my husband suggested I pay homage to my maiden name in my pen name, it seemed like the perfect fit and I became AC Willis.

So, if you look at my logo and see the bird beside my pen name, it all comes together. I’m not using a pen name to separate my work from myself but to separate myself from others. It’s all a part of marketing. As I look into the future, I can envision myself explaining the meaning behind my pen name and giving the world a much more complete version of myself. A lot of women give up their names when they get married, I suppose AC Willis is a way for me to get it back.

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