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Thursday, June 2, 2011

It’s just a name...

You all know me as Melissa Dawn Harte here but I’ve recently journeyed into the murky waters of self publishing as Suzie Grant. I’ve carried my original name and steadily climbed this rocky incline to being published with this name for well over fifteen years now. It’s been an interesting trek to say the least.
Self publishing is a new and exciting option for writers but it’s not easy by any means. If you’re expecting overnight success then you’re dead wrong and that goes for both publishing with the big houses as well as Self Publishing. But while you have an army of editors and a team of marketing professionals at your disposal with the big houses, you don’t have that with Self Pubbing. And the road you’re traveling on just got a lot steeper.
But there are both good and bad facets to both options and I’ll save that issue for another day. For now I want to discuss pen names. I’ve lived with the same pen name for fifteen years now. Why did I change it you ask? Well because at the time I was still very much still considering sticking with traditional publishing and didn’t want my self pubbed titles to interfere with my chances to publish traditionally.
While I haven’t given up on it completely, I have decided to set that aside for a while and see how this little foray into Indie publishing turns out. In the meantime, I’ve got two identities suddenly that I’m trying to work with and it suddenly became very overwhelming. So after fifteen years with the name Melissa Dawn Harte, I’ve decided to retire it temporarily and take up my new identity. A new beginning. A fresh start for me. And I’m suddenly very excited about it. And somewhat sad as I’ve packed away the memories of writing under this pen name. I’ve changed my website to reflect my new persona and re-written my bios.
So here I am on the brink of a new chapter, shutting away the dusty door of a different life. And while this post might sound so boring to you I find myself amazed at how much I truly “became” a new person. How attached I was to my persona. My signature. My life as a writer.
So here I am rewriting my life story once again and seeking to learn more about my new name, Suzie Grant. A name I came up with by combining my mother’s nickname and my father’s first name. It’s my special silent tribute to the two people who’ve so influenced my life and my life’s decisions.
I’ve found myself just as excited as when I first started on this uncertain path and I am eager to face whatever new trials await down this new shadowed pathway.
So while you remember me as Melissa Dawn Harte Miss Adventure here on the Lady Scribes I give you the new and improved version Suzie Grant. I am Miss Adventure. Take a deep breath with me and jump into a new world of adventure and romance with me. I’m looking forward to many more thrills with you.
It’s amazing how easy it is for us “to become someone else for just a while”. The human mind and body is an extraordinary piece of art. So how about you? How did you come up with your pen name (if you use one) and how easy has it been to completely adapt to this new, exciting face in your future? It’s funny how much and how often we must put ourselves out into the world under a fake name and for a short while “become” someone else.
My favorite quote seems to fit into this new chapter just as easily as it fit into my previous chapters. “Obstacles are placed in our path’s to determine whether we really wanted something or just thought we did.” By Dr. Harold Smith.
I’m ready for my next obstacle, are you?  


  1. I chose a pen name because I have an established career under my legal name and I wanted to keep my identities separate. My pen name has special meaning for me, but the things that are really special I like to keep to myself. :)

  2. Good luck with your new lease on life, Suzie :) My pen name is just my first and middle name for two reasons: my real last name is unwieldy and hard for people to either spell or pronounce, and my middle name was my grandmother's maiden name, so it is special to me.

  3. Samatha, I completely understand keeping the special things to yourself. That's what usually makes them special. I love the name Samatha! It's both cute and sassy! =)

    Erin, I simply love your name. It reminds me of Grace Kelly. Simple and beautiful. It'll be so easy for readers to remember honestly and it absolutely fits your personality.

  4. Hi Ranik, thanks for stopping by and being such a good friend. =)

  5. Actually, I've just gone through a big discussion regarding using a pen name. I currently publish under my real name and had considered using another for work in another related historical subgenre.

    My hubby and I had lots of talk and in the end we made the decision to continue under my own name, even if I deviate from what I've already published. I'm still writing stories set in Regency England. From my hubby's pov - its a no brainer. Publishing under the one name is a good business decision.

    We will see if the readers agree with him. :o) But I am very excited about these other stories. Can't wait to share them.

  6. While I am not yet published, I have already adopted a pen name and I hope to publish under that name. (Especially as I already have a website using that name!) I live in a small town in the Deep South and a pen name just makes sense when one lives in the Bible Belt and writes "THOSE" kind of books. LOL My pen name was actually given to me by the lovely Anna Campbell. We were discussing my adopting a pen name and I sent her the names of the matriarchs of my family - my Mom and both of my grandmothers. My Mom's name is Louise and my maternal grandmother's name was Mary Cornellia. And thus Louisa Cornell was born!

    I just know Suzie Grant is destined to take the indie world by storm!