FRANCIS, M TO THE IZ-H PHENOMENAL
still on that pseudonym talk. this week, frank hinton from metazen.
I write under a pseudonym for a few reasons. I think the main reason is that I don't like my actual name. It's kind of like, nobody thinks Walter Willison is bad ass so he became Bruce Willis. The problem is that I don't even really like my pseudonym because I'm worried about people thinking I'm some kind of S.E Hinton fan or something.
I do treat Frank as a persona. I kind of think of it as a sort of meta-metafiction where I'm trying to look at/ understand what writing is and what being a writer is by not just writing about a writer who is writing, but by kind of trying to authentically create fiction as a fictitious person, if that makes sense. At least that’s how things started. Now I’ve become so comfortable writing/ befriending other writers as Frank that I feel that part of me is actually authentic. I don’t have any friends that are writers in my real life so meeting other writers as Frank has nourished me. I didn’t know how important it was as a writer to connect with other writers.
I think it's interesting how writers with pseudonyms hide themselves. I mean, I think I've seen xTx's body. She's shown it in dim light. Finnegan Flawnt didn't "come out" until he retired, even to me and he was an editor for my site...I heard his voice and nothing more. He turned out to be a god damned German physics prof. I think with me there are a lot of people in my world who would be shocked if they knew about Frank Hinton and there would be a lot more people who would be shocked in Frank Hinton's world if they knew I was Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I don't write anything as myself. I think because I've kind of established whatever my online presence is, the first thing I do when I write is drop a lot of the bullshit I carry around with me day to day and write as Frank. I use a lot of stuff from my actual life in my writing, but using it as Frank feels truer to me. I don't know why that works though. I also tend to keep swinging around on the gender pendulum. Being a man or a woman is kind of something you can give up when you came out of the birth canal onto the internet. I think people who actually know me as Frank Hinton know me, but for readers I don’t want them to pin me down right away.
My veil will never come back. I'll be wearing a yeoniptal at AWP. Or I'll send someone else. Or I'll go as me and say I'm someone else. I won't be there.
If my identity were revealed it wouldn't be the end of the world. I would probably disappear and then simply start to rebuild all over again as something else. I think I’m pretty forthcoming with people one-on-one. I just think that when you’re writing and trying to share your stuff with others it’s nice to have some kind of glitz on you. I appreciate those chicks that put sparkles on their tits before they go out to the bar.
I don’t think I’ll switch my name or anything. I’m pretty comfortable using Frank Hinton. I’m more comfortable with nobody knowing who I am. If I can explore my own loneliness and perversions and fears from behind this weird wall my writing feels truer. I can put myself out into the world as less of a definable person and more in terms of my own feelings and emotions. You get my personality without having to see the pimples on my ass.
Frank Hinton lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and edits the daily fiction journal metazen. Frank has been published in decomP, > kill author, Dogzplot and a number of other publications.