Ok, so I keep getting the same question, “Why did you change your name?”
Well…the truth is, Victoria Wells was never my name. I borrowed if from my best friends, Victoria R. and E. Wells. I thought at the time it was pretty genius of me to combine the names of two women who meant the world to me as my pen name.
Why use a pen name in the first place? May be another question some may ask. So glad you inquired. Professionally, I’ve been a nurse for twenty-three years. And for the last thirteen years I’ve been practicing as an adult nurse practitioner. My entire career have been dedicated to taking care of adults with sickle cell disease.
Over the years I’ve participated in research, authored and co-authored articles published in the medical community, presented oral and poster presentations at national and regional conferences, and lectured at the university level. Although I’ve participated in research in sickle cell disease, currently I’m working on submitting a research proposal as the lead investigator. Pretty exciting, uh?
With my lofty ideas, I thought it would be cool to have a pen name, since my mission in life was to stamp out disease and save lives. I told myself I didn’t want my two worlds colliding. Even though, I honestly had no expectations of my debut novel, A Special Summer being a hit with readers. However, pretty soon I was getting emails asking if the other characters were going to have their own stories. And before I could bat an eye, I was on my way to writing a series.
Now…of course my mom was super proud of me when I told her I was going to write a romance novel. Before my book was published, I explained to her I was using a pen name and why. After my explanation she said she understood my reasoning. However, somewhere around my fourth novel she’d begun to drop hints that I could always use my own middle and last name, instead of my first name. Her reasoning was my work publications were authored using my first name.
My mom wasn’t the type to verbally force her children in to doing anything. She didn’t have to. She communicated very well non-verbally. And without words she was saying loud and clear, “I want you to be known by the name I gave you.”
It didn’t take me but a minute to acknowledge where she was coming from as a mother. I suppose on some level it was an insult to her that I had used a pen name. I can still remember the day I told her I had decided to write using Suzette Riddick. My mom didn’t say anything. She just flashed me the prettiest smile.
Unfortunately, not too much longer Mommy’s health began to decline. At that time changing my name was the last thing on my mind. All of my energy for the next couple of years was consumed with trying to get her back to an optimal level of health. However, God had different plans. Mommy had served her purpose and it was time for her step into eternity.
As a tribute to a mother who always loved and provided me with the best, I honored her wish to use the name she had blessed me with.
Suzette by the way is French in origin and means lily.
Until next time,