This fall, MY HUSBAND'S SWEETHEARTS will come out with Random House under my new pen name Bridget Asher, and since I already have a pen name (N.E. Bode, the charming and elusive author of, namely, THE ANYBODIES trilogy - novels for the younger set who haven't yet had their imaginations beaten out of them), this makes me a trio.
Isn't this an opportunity to reinvent myself? Again?
As Julianna Baggott, I've published plenty of novels, but, well, my eyes are too big, frankly. Can't Bridget Asher have normal-sized eyes? And I recently confessed to my husband that I prefer Starsky and, turns out, he's always fancied himself a Hutch type. Can't Bridget be more sensitive to her husband's imagined alter egos? Last time I checked in here, I blogged about drinking Blue Nun. Bridget wouldn't drink Blue Nun. She would drink something expensive but not flashy, something that a Bond girl would drink -- straight up. Does she have kids? Not yet. She's younger than I am, not crusted in baby-snot, not kicking herself because she can't help her daughter with Algebra 1, and she never finds herself stalled in an aisle at Bed, Bath and Beyond, looking like a soon-to-be victim of WHAT NOT TO WEAR, which is one of my greatest fears.
At the very least, Bridget Asher can have a funkier author photo -- that's what I've decided. She can hide her big eyes with sunglasses, her un-brushed hair with a good hat. She can wear some signature oddity -- like Gorton fisherman boots. It's not a bear on a leash like that Gary Sh-what's-his-name who wrote the Russian Debutante something book. But it's not bad. It's not as hip as a mussy T-shirt like Coleson Whitehead. But, you know ... I've done what I can. (See photo above. )
She's better than I am. Trust me. I already prefer her. You will too.
For more on Julianna Baggott -- and her many personalities -- visit http://www.juliannabaggott.com/ and http://www.theanybodies.com/. For info on the nonprofit that she cofounded with her husband, visit http://www.booksineed.org/. For good writerly nourishment, visit the literary journal she oversees at Florida State University http://www.southeastreview.org/. Enough already.