Hey, everyone!

I felt like I needed some way to stay in touch with all of you after the madness that was FanLit!

I’m gearing up to try NaNoWriMo for the first time, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you over there in the AFL Nano’ers group.

I suppose for my first blog post, it might be mildly interesting to share how I adopted this name, “Tessa Dare.” The day I learned about FanLit was September 16, the Saturday before submissions closed for Round 1. I read about the contest in a nifty WSJ article that featured our very own ErvinA. The article was passed on to me through a group of friends I’ve made in the Jane Austen fandom. On the recommendation of the same friends, I had just started reading Middlemarch by George Eliot – one of the many classics I am embarrassed to admit I have not read.

So there I was, reading the Prologue and chapter 1 of Middlemarch, in which the heroine, Dorothea Brooke, is introduced and her fascination with mystic and writer St. Teresa de Avila is mentioned. I put down the book, checked my email, read the WSJ article, and logged on to FanLit immediately. I was so enraptured with the beginning of Middlemarch, I almost chose Dorothea as my screen name – but I decided it sounded a bit old. So I took my inspiration from St. Teresa (who has always fascinated me, as well) and changed it up to TessaD. Terribly blasphemous, considering what I’ve written under that pen name. I’m probably racking up years in Purgatory every time I use it.

And guess what – FanLit took over my life, and I still haven’t gotten past the second chapter of Middlemarch.

The “Dare” part came when I created a new Yahoo email account for invites. I needed a name to round out the “D” in TessaD. I’ve just always loved Dare as a girl’s name, but didn’t get to use it for my own daughter. My husband has rather specific Theories of naming children.

Anyway, that’s where the name “Tessa Dare” came from. And now I’m rather fond of it, and her. I feel like Tessa’s my alter ego. A real writer, and what’s even better – a writer who bandies about phrases like “nubile curves” and “muscled thighs” without blushing. I’m so glad FanLit helped me find her, and all of you! Please keep in touch!

14 comments to “Farewell, FanLit – Hello, NaNo!”

  1. Aza
    · October 27th, 2006 at 1:27 pm · Link

    I am so looking forward to reading more of your work! I love your penname and thank you for sharing your process! I have enjoyed talking with you over the past few weeks in AFL related forums and look forward to more! 😀 Now, I must check out the NaNo…

  2. LdyBlkny
    · October 27th, 2006 at 1:42 pm · Link

    Love it, Tessa! I am so glad I met you through this contest. Your writing is stellar and I am in awe of your comfort level with it. I hope to see you on the bookshelves at my B&N soon!

  3. beverley
    · October 27th, 2006 at 1:54 pm · Link

    I am so happy to see you’re doing Nano. It will be 30 days of work and more work but well worth it. Hope to see that finished manuscript in the future.

  4. Sara
    · October 27th, 2006 at 2:01 pm · Link

    I’ve been in love with the names Arcenbryght and Elfled ever since I started reading Jo Beverley’s Malloren series. I generally get odd looks when I mention them as possibly baby names, though. Hmmm… maybe that’s why I’m single?!

  5. amycarolina
    · October 27th, 2006 at 2:18 pm · Link

    I’ll say Tessa D is a writer. I thought I was the only one who blushed while writing about muscled thighs. We can get past this together!

  6. elyssany
    · October 27th, 2006 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Hi Tessa! I agree – this contest was great b/c so many great people were met. Even though it was crazy! LOL.

    Wonder what NaNo will bring?

  7. Sara Dennis
    · October 27th, 2006 at 4:41 pm · Link

    I love the pen name. It’s full of courage and promises great things, and I know you’ll deliver.

    Congratulations again!

  8. Lynne Simpson
    · October 27th, 2006 at 5:13 pm · Link

    Tessa Dare reminds me of an intrepid girl detective or a brave undercover reporter. Love it!

    Congratulations, Eve!

  9. Maggie Robinson
    · October 27th, 2006 at 8:35 pm · Link

    I know you will dare to dazzle us! A great name for a great writer. Congratulations on all the good things ahead.

  10. Santa
    · October 27th, 2006 at 9:07 pm · Link

    Ditto on the pen name! Good luck on NaNo! I give you a lot of credit for diving right into it!

    Can’t wait to read more from you!

  11. michele
    · October 27th, 2006 at 9:16 pm · Link

    Congrats, Tessa/Eve! (Speaking of which, what do you want to be called?) You are a wonderful writer and a wonderful BB! 😉

  12. Cynthia Falcon
    · October 27th, 2006 at 10:02 pm · Link

    You are a great writer, and I cannot wait until you are published! Congratulations on your accomplishments!

  13. yorkie lover
    · October 29th, 2006 at 6:22 pm · Link


    Congratulations, again! Have a great day at Avon. You certainly deserve it.

  14. Lindsey
    · October 29th, 2006 at 9:43 pm · Link

    I think Tessa Dare is an awesome pen name – perfect for such an awesome writer. I’m really interested in names, so I enjoyed the story of her origins!