Squeeee! It’s the big day! *thud*
*picks myself up off the floor, hoping no one saw that*
Ahem. Okay. So, here are buy links:
Now, with that out of the way I’d like to take a minute to talk about my pen name. And yes, this is still related to release day. Sort of.
I knew from the beginning that if I were to get published I’d need a pen name. I’d been a paralegal for 15 years and I didn’t think it would be very good for my career to have clients, attorneys, judges, other legal staff, etc. accidently stumbling on my erotic romance novels. But what to call myself? I briefly considered using my middle and maiden names but, honestly, that’s a pretty generic name. Think along the lines of “Jane Smith”. I mean, it’s a perfectly good name but it didn’t stand out or have the pizzazz I was looking for in a pen name. It’s not often you get to name yourself and I was going to be picky about it until I found just the right pseudonym.
So I started thinking about things that were important to me. What could I name myself that would have meaning? Wine N. Chocolate? Appropriate, yes, but not exactly what I was looking for.
And then it came to me in one of those blinding flashes that seem to come out of nowhere sometimes.
This is my grandmother. Her name was Louisa and today would have been her 97th birthday. There are really no words to explain what a huge part of my life she was. Nor can I adequately express what an amazing woman she was, other than to say she was an inspiration, a role model, and the best piano player and pie maker I’ve ever known. She lived next door to us while I was growing up and then, later, she moved in with my mom and stepdad so she was just always there, a constant presence in our lives.
I admit, it wasn’t always easy having her so close. There were no wild parties at my house when I was a teenager because even when my folks were out of town Gran was still there, peering out her kitchen window. (Not that I would have done that kind of thing anyway, Mom. Swear to God!) But for the most part, it was a wonderful arrangement for all of us and, because she was so close, I had a very close relationship with her. I am incredibly thankful for the time we had together, the memories I have of her, and the significant part she played in my life.
Given all that, it seemed a fitting tribute to take my pen name from her. So, I shortened Louisa to Liza and settled on Gaines, the town of her birth, for a surname. It covers my tracks in the legal community, has substantially more zing than my middle and maiden name, and, best of all, allows to me feel like Gran is always near.
So, today is a little bittersweet for me. I am wildly-flailing-like-a-maniac thrilled to really, truly be a published author. When I first saw the Amazon listing for Little Bird I screamed so loud Lola-dog actually howled along with me.
But I’m also a little bit sad because today is Gran’s birthday and, perhaps even more so, because this is the first MAJOR LIFE EVENT I’ve experienced since she passed away. And while I’m quite sure Gran wouldn’t approve of the actual content of my book, I think she’d have been proud of my accomplishment nonetheless. I can’t help but wish she were here to share it with me. And, you know, everytime I see or hear my pen name, I sort of feel like she is.