For those who don't know, LK Wilde is not my real name... well the LK part is (Laura Kate), but my surname is Garcia, not Wilde. So why choose a pen name?
For me there were several reasons why I chose a pen name, ranging from the ridiculous, to the practical, to the romantic.
Let's start with the ridiculous...
At first, I didn't want people to know I was a writer. Why? Because I felt shy, embarrassed and scared. Would people think I was pretentious? Would they like my work? It felt easier to go into things incognito and test the waters. Now, two years on, I understand that being a writer is something to be proud of. Books are meant to be read, not hidden away gathering dust. I hope these days I'm not quite as ridiculous as I was then!
On to more practical matters...
I had searched 'Laura Garcia author' and found there were plenty of them already around the world. Garcia, in Spanish speaking countries, is as common as Smith or Jones is in the UK. I tried out a range of names, my maiden name, my mother's maiden name. All had the same problem; if there weren't already authors with exactly the same name, there were plenty with similar.
And finally the romantic...
When I began writing, I knew that one day I would explore my family history. Wilde is a family name. It belonged to my grandmother Barbara and great grandmother Florrie. Those of you who read Queenie of Norwich will meet Barbara and Florrie in the book.
Barbara died far too young, and by taking her surname, it felt like somehow I was honouring her memory. A romantic notion I'm sure, but I hope Barbara, Florrie and her sister Queenie, would approve of the way I've used their name and stories in my own work.
And if you're wondering what to call me, Laura will do nicely. :-)
"Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves."
— Terri Guillemets.