Yesterday I had a phone interview with the biggest publication since I've started writing and self-publishing. Since the article won't come out until October, and since we still have details to finalize, I'm not going to mention the name of the magazine.
Instead, I'll highlight a few of the cool things covered in the conversation and regarding the article:
1) Originally the writer/editor was interviewing me for a short blurb on a their "Mixed Media" page, a page that has an extended article and a few blurbs.
2) Over the course of the conversation, he thought a deeper dive would be necessary, so he's going to try to get it bumped up to be the extended article on the "Mixed Media" page. That's part of the reason it's going to be published in October--if it'd been a short blurb, it would've been in an earlier issue.
3) Much of the conversation centered around struggles of self-publishing, my creative process, and--more than anything else--how I juggle teaching and writing/self-publishing, especially with my use of a pseudonym. We discussed my reasons for the pseudonym: some language in Rebirth of the Gangster and some violence made me want to separate my comic from my school persona. That being said...
4) After a few years of keeping my real name a secret and only doing business under my pseudonym, this article will "out" me; I'm going to keep using the pseudonym, but the article will mention my real name, the school I teach at, and more, all to focus on how I create boundaries between my comic work and my teaching work.
Ultimately, I think I was being too paranoid when I decided to use the pseudonym, and there are other reasons I've made this decision:
4A) The language in my comic has toned down a little (not out of fear of people finding out a teacher was using it--more out of artistic evolution and a greater focus on balance). So I'm not selling out, just becoming a better writer.
4B) Given that I make a strong effort to never push my comic on my students (or even name it or my pseudonym), I realized that complaints would be limited; if I made a big deal in my class about it, brought in my comic as a text to study, or anything else like that, I would worry about revealing my true identity (my real name or my pseudonym: you be the judge).
4C) Much of my writing career has helped make me a better teacher, and I think most people in the community would appreciate that. We talk over and over about teaching college and career skills, and for a teacher to have a better connection to career skills, most parents and guardians would view that as an advantage, not a disadvantage.
That's about it.
In case you thought this announcement was going to reveal my true name, you'll have to wait for the fall when that magazine publishes its exclusive interview with me.
Thanks, and let me know your thoughts!