The second chapter of my novel-in-progress Adelaide, “Nor Any Drop to Drink,” appears in the online literary magazine The2ndHand under the pseudonym Jim Magistrate.
To address the easier question first, I chose this odd-sounding name because my own unusual last name, Antman, is German for “magistrate.” As to why I chose to publish under a pseudonym at all, that’s a bit harder to answer.
It has something to do, I think, with the notably unpleasant main character, Lila, and her cynical opinions about advertising (not to mention her less-than-caring approach to an old man with Alzheimer’s.) I guess I was concerned that, in this one instance at least, my literary writing might “bleed over” into my business existence, and cause a potential client to question my own attitudes towards advertising. But even if Lila didn’t change radically over the course of the novel – she does, indeed, after a startling encounter with a far-worse person she meets on a plane – I should have trusted in the ability of readers to understand that one of the prerogatives and pleasures of writing fiction is creating characters whose actions and beliefs not only don’t mirror those of the author, but are part of an utterly independent, albeit invented, sphere of existence.