We're reading submissions for the 42 Stories Anthology this month and will hopefully reach our goal by May or December this year. No guarantee.
Let's chat about names.
The whole pen name schtick came from the theme of the book having 1,764 names in it, sure. However, that's only half of the story.
I've had many pen names.
My dad named me after his favorite uncle. Bertram was a lawyer by day and trumpet player by night. He had an accident, which led to him being bedridden.
Dad always looked to him for guidance when he was young. Then, one day, probably a rainy one, Bertram died tragically.
Mom got to name my sister and brother. Then, when I was born, Dad named me after the lawyer/trumpet player.
The only problem with the name was that he shortened it to Bert, and I was a child in the '80s being called "Bert."
So, naturally, the first question kids asked, "Where's Erine?"
As it turns out, Bertram means Bright, Famous, Raven.
Something changed when I was 23. I had started getting published and needed a writer's name. I went with "B. A. Mullin," thinking it was kind of funny sounding: "Be a Mullin."
At the same time, I blogged on MySpace.com. The blog, Ten Things That You Should Know, had 133 posts and over 50k readers. Sometimes the blog hit the #1 spot on the site. My username: "Devilsthrill."
The username actually goes back to when I was 19. There's a song that inspired me to write my series, Demon Blade Bearer, called Devil's Trill. I was listening to Vanessa Mae's version at the time and wrote and wrote and wrote.
Suddenly, I had ten books written within three to fives years. As an ode to the song, I used "Devilsthrill" as an online name. It was also a typo that stuck. I wanted the name to be DevilsTrill.
At 31 my dad got sick, and we were friends. I decided to use the name "Bertram" with the stipulation that no one called me "Bert" unless they wanted to get punched in the face.
That year, I moved to Japan with a dream: Find a manga artist and make Demon Blade Bearer a manga and maybe an anime in Japan and America. I'd introduce myself as "Bertram."
AND NO ONE COULD SAY IT!
At my first job, without asking, the trainer introduced me as "Bert." He didn't get punched, but it was one example of the disrespect I went through until quitting.
Got a job as a foreign teacher at public schools and while searching for an artist, continued teaching.
Because students had issues saying "Bertram," I just went with my initials: "BAM."
For the past seven years, everyone has either called me Bertram, or BAM.