I’m giving notice, so it doesn’t come as a shock to all ten of you lovely folks.
Brian St. Claire’s been a pen-name I’ve been using for about a year now, for two reasons:
1) It sounded nice,
and 2) there’s another “Brian Lynch, the writer” out there – who’s already working in a professional capacity.
Since there would be unavoidable confusion if I were to not use a pen name, going by Michael Bolton-logic (“Why should I change my name? He’s the one who sucks!”), a pen name is a necessity. But adopting Brian St. Claire as a pen name brought a little bit of outside stress; see, I liked it because it’s a family name. But it’s also matrilineal, which has brought me no end of arguments from my sister. Furthermore, I have never quite gelled with it; the act felt unnatural.
See, I understand the notion of it : you write under another name, and the alias becomes your outlet. But you should never feel discomfort with your alias. It’s not as if you’re living two lives, and deceiving the world. You’re living one life, and the second name is a necessity. It should reflect who you are – to the degree that a name can tell these things.
But last night, when my mind is the most free (ten minutes before I fall asleep – free, yes. Muddled? Of course), I started thinking on this problem again. I thought, “My sister’s said on several occasions that I should draw from figures I admire, or fictional characters. How about Jones? Brian Jones. No, it doesn’t sound right.”
I shifted my head on my pillow, and with a twist of the sheets, more ideas came. “How about Ryan Jones? Just drop the B, it sounds much better.” My thoughts were heading in a particular direction, and I simply let them go; I was too tired to fight them.
Finally, as comfortable darkness settled on the room, my eyes closed, and then – “How about Ryan Lynch?”
Works for me.
-Brian / Ryan