First off, I had a lot of fun with you guys in yesterday's post about HDU. Flawless poll. Also, I'll never listen to "Every Breath You Take" the same ever again. Thank you for the laughs -- I needed them because the post was also really weird for me to experience. Also, a big thank you to the people who bought the book and sent kind words. You made me really happy!
Anyway, I tried to read all the comments in yesterday's post but there were just so many and okay that wasn't the reason, Livejournal was just messing up page numbers on me. I do know there were a few hours of sleuthing going on to find my name and username (and damn, you guys are impressive as sh*t), but I can say that there is actually no available information anywhere about my real name becaaaause:
The 3 Reasons Why I Publish Under A Pen Name
1. I worked in entertainment for a company that heavily frowned upon creative work outside of the office. I had some close friends with experience in self-publishing handle all the logistics for me so I could keep my actual name out of trouble but still retain full creative control.
2. Though I write full-time now, I'm keeping my pen name because it's tied to my books and readers, whom I love. And after the ONTD post, I'm all the more grateful for the pen name because I would've had a heart attack if I got all these messages on my personal Twitter or Facebook. Most of my friends and family still don't know I do this. Though if they find my blog, they'll definitely figure it out.
3. I based some of these characters on some people I know in my real, everyday life (not ONTDers, I don't know any outside of the Internet). And though I think they'd find this amusing, I don't want them to have the pleasure of knowing that I think about them this much hahahaha oh god.
Now about HDU. I wrote it to be fun, light chick lit - maybe an escape for the reader because it sure was for the writer.
I was tempted to put in a few of ONTD's favorite acronyms but I know that most of my readers are not ONTD users so I went with terms that were more accessible to everyone, that I loved too. I will forever love DIAF.
In regards to HDU being based on anything or anyone specific - I just liked the idea of a user-driven gossip site having so much influence in pop culture, the way that ONTD has. And that was the inspiration. (Also, the name LJ's Diner was actually a happy coincidence to sounding like Livejournal -- the place was based on a diner in Missouri with a similar name, but I'm glad it's there now! Hah!)
Anyway, lastly, I know there are a lot of writers on ONTD and I just want to say (even though I think some commenters in the post said this already, just in very different words lol)... if I can do it, so can you (stop rolling your eyes/retching, let me finish!). Even if you aren't doing this as a source of income, you'll feel over-the-moon excited when even one person you don't know buys your book and reads it and even better, likes and reviews it. I had little to no plan when I started this. It was just for fun and I just had this book I wanted to test the waters with. But it ended up a cooler and bigger experience than I imagined. So just go for it! Your schedule may not permit daily writing, but whatever you can do to move your project forward is a step closer to having something finished that you can do things with. We often look at books and go, "How did this get published? [Expletives], I'm going to do this then!" Doooo it. Because you totally can. Use a pen name if it helps you write more freely. (Okay now you may retch/roll your eyes.)
tl;dr: There are no traces back from my pen name - I took a LOT of precautions because of the industry I worked in. HDU is very much inspired by ONTD but not a book about the site. No characters were based off your usernames. You can self-pub too! And you should! I like polls and The Police so much more now.