Real Me and Fake Me

This isn’t much of a shock to anyone who follows this blog, not really, because I’m sure you’ve guessed.

Meggan is not my real name.

See, I have a day job, where it’s not always approved of if you write romance novels. Writing? YES! Romance novels (particularly with open door sex scenes)? Not so much.

Again, this is not much of a surprise, but in real life, I’m a speech pathologist. It pays the bills. Also, I like it. I really, really like it. I have no intention of quitting, even if I could. In fact, I have an idea for a nonfiction book that I’ll write once I get that PhD I’ve been yammering on about (super excited about that, btw).

I am, to put it mildly, a crazy, overworked, probably overly ambitious personality.

In any case, I’ll go ahead and admit what most of you have probably already figured out: I work with preschoolers with a range of developmental delays, including 14 with autism. The reason Meggan Connors even exists is because of this.

Not because I am ashamed of my romance novels, nor is my hubster, the only person whose opinion really matters. I’m not. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I regularly announce, “I write romance novels!” The reason I have the alter ego is because there are parents who don’t approve of the romance novel genre. See, I’m a sweet little preschool speech pathologist. I am as pure as the driven snow.

When people first find out I’m writing, I’m almost always asked, “Oh, children’s books?”

Nearly always, they have that hopeful, sweet, approving look on their faces. Because I’m sweet, remember? And, probably, a virgin. (hehehehe)

And then I laugh. Heartily.

“No,” I answer. “I write trashy romance novels.”

People who know me, who know my sense of humor, aren’t shocked by this revelation. Because while the face I present to the world–at work–is sweet and loving (and it’s true, I love all of the kids on my caseload), in real life, I’m kind of crass. Bawdy. In grad school, during dysphagia class, I was the one with the dirty swallowing jokes. One day, in the distant future, I’ll be that old lady who tells dirty jokes, and the little speech path who comes in to evaluate my cognition will have to try to determine if this dirty sense of humor and outright inappropriateness is pre-existing or if it’s the result of a right hemisphere trauma.

Maybe she’ll read this blog and discover that, indeed, I have always been inappropriate. And that I’m okay with that.

Fake me and real me are cool with one another. I’ve been informed that fake me is dirtier than real me, but these are the same people who ask, “Which one are you right now?” And the answer is, “Both.”

I’m always both. There really is no distinction between fake me and real me. In fact, fake me has announced things on Facebook that real me is keeping quiet, because I’m Facebook friends with my boss. (Yes, the PhD thing)

So, if you see me in real life, no, I probably won’t answer to Meggan unless I’m at a conference. Funny thing is, I won’t answer to my real name, either. I learned, long ago, to ignore that, too.

Do any of you have an alter ego, and why did you choose to have one?


4 thoughts on “Real Me and Fake Me”

  1. I love this post. No matter our profession, we are always trying to find ourselves! Multiple personalities are the norm, yet no one admits there is sheer pleasure in exploring all of our fantasies, as well as reality. The trick is keeping track! I was an international speaker when I began writing romance, so I carefully chose my pen name based upon the findings of my meticulous marketing research…then thoughtlessly opened a FB account under my real name. Oopsy! My challenge became separating appropriate BOARDroom behavior from appropriate BEDroom behavior…and ne’er the twain shall meet. Pffffft! Let’s just say my presentations became more lively when attendees discovered I wrote about naughty nakedness in EVERYroom. The end result is still the same…assertiveness gets you whatever you want!

  2. This is very true, Miz Jude.

    I think you hit the nail on the head–I’m always trying to find myself. Sad, at thirty something that I still haven’t quite figured out what I want to do with myself when I grow up.

    I guess we’ll see. I’m always fascinated by the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” because I never know. I’m great at developing the five year plan; I’m not always so great at sticking to it.


  3. Great post Meggan. For security reasons a nom-de-plume is a good idea, but the writing life always leaks over into real life. I always tell people use whichever name they remember best (usually Jamie). In my RWA chapter about 50% of the authors use their pen names, and those are usually the names I remember them by.
    And no worries on the 5-year plan… you’ll know what’s right when the time comes.

    1. Thanks, Jamie.

      I agree that the nom de plume is necessary for security reasons–I talk about my kids on the blog, but I don’t show their faces, and I don’t use their real names (in another revelation, I did not name my firstborn Monk, or my second born Chewbacca Wolverine [yes, there’s a story there])

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s