I have been out of technological commission for about the past six weeks or so and have a huge backlog of announcements–some minute, some momentous–to catch up on. So, please keep an eye out for a lot of updates on my writerly things, and I apologize in advance for the onslaught.
So…starting with this:
In projects moving forward, readers will begin to see that my byline no longer reads as S. J. Chambers. I am dropping my initials and will be using my full name from here on out.
The use of my initials came about as an homage to “the lady writer” who often hid her gender behind initials, if not a flat-out male pseudonym. My using it was based upon the concept that it was useless at this point, but I was wrong. You wouldn’t believe how many misdirected e-mails and “Dear Sir” addresses I have received over the years. There is, of course, a lot still to be desired in how women writers are treated in publishing, but I feel like this is actually a wonderful time to be a female writer, and I am proud to be part of the Sisterhood.
There is that, and as far as pen names go, it is pretty lame. Why did I even go with that, the above joke aside? If I was going to go full-on nomme-de-plume, why didn’t I pick something cool like, I dunno, Sylvia Plastered? And having had a lot of time on my hands to think about silly existential exigencies like this, I realized it had a lot to do with fear and commitment. It’s been more than ten years now that I resolved to pursue this writing thing, and in testing it out, I’ve been holding back. My initials gave me enough buffer to runaway and give-up if I wanted too–but I haven’t and honestly am beginning to feel like I am just getting started. So, in shedding my intials, I am shedding all my insecurities and fears of whether I can do this or not. I am doing it. It may not be in the way I envisioned ten years ago, but its also way better than I expected. And I am looking forward.
So, please, call me Selena.