My husband checked out The Outsiders from the library. We never finished it. But it did get me interested in S.E. Hinton and names.
According to one interview, she said her publisher thought (because this was back in the dark ages) that no one would accept a realistic novel like The Outsiders from a girl. The reviewers needed to think a guy wrote it in order for her to have a chance. So, they put her initials on it. She’s kept that name on all of her novels since, as a way of keeping her privacy.
Now, I know privacy has almost joined the status of unicorns and dragons: something people would like to believe in but know couldn’t possibly exist. However, in my more fantastical daydreams about the result of getting published, I wonder how I would react if I suddenly became another J.K. Rowling. I know this isn’t going to happen because my characters don’t sparkle like hers do. But if, somehow, it did, would I start to hate it? Would I wish I could slap someone else’s name on my books so that I could have some privacy? Or, if I did put a different name on the spine to avoid that mess, would I start to feel like Remy in Ratatouille? Would I feel like it wasn’t really my story?
Ah, who knows? For now, my real name stays on the ms.