I'm Kassandra, and I'm so happy to re-introduce myself as, well, myself! When I first started writing "for real" (read that, when I got my first story published), I thought I needed a pen name. It wasn't that I thought a pen name would make me look cooler or more author-y; it was more that, at over twenty letters long, my real name is not exactly publish-friendly. In addition, the name Kassandra and its variants (Cassandra, Kass, Cass, etc.) are very popular pen names these days.
The irony of needing a pen name because my real name sounds like a pen name did not escape me, but honestly I was excited about taking on a nom de plume. So I picked my middle name, Tamara, and the English translation of my last name's root word: Linden. Tamara Linden. Sounds great, right? Right! There was just one problem (actually there were several, but this is the biggest): I hate being called Tamara. Somehow it didn't occur to me until I started using Twitter that people would actually be addressing me by my pen name. I don't hate the name Tamara, obviously, but I did hate the microsecond of disorientation I felt whenever someone called me by that name. I also really didn't enjoy the awkward exchange I'd have every time I made a new friend/crit partner, wherein I would have to explain why they'd be getting an email not from Tamara Linden but from someone named Kassandra with a really, really long last name.
So, with great relief, I've decided to abandon...not all, but most pretenses and return to my given name. I guess technically it's still a pen name, but Kassandra Flamouri is as close as you can reasonably get to the real thing. I have to tell you, it's sooooo much better. Everything I put out into the online world feels so much more authentic: I'm not acting a part or crafting a brand...I'm just me! Obviously some filtering still needs to take place (I don't think potential agents or publishers need to see my ugly selfies, for instance, however hilarious I find them) but so far, everything feels so much more natural.
I'm getting really close to launching this new website and my Patreon....and this post! Just one or two more kinks to work out and then we'll be off and running. See you soon!