Friday, January 4, 2008

Schizophrenia and the Pen Name

I'm about to become a third person.

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 and For info on the nonprofit that she cofounded with her husband, visit For good writerly nourishment, visit the literary journal she oversees at Florida State University Enough already.


Anonymous said...

This is a FABULOUS photo. I love it.


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