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The Story Behind ‘Grace’

My name is Jeyna Lim Sue Chen. It’s the name on my birth certificate and my identity card. And, as you may have noticed, there’s no ‘Grace’ anywhere in it. So, where did ‘Grace’ come from? Why is my name Jeyna Grace on most of my social media platforms? And why the word ‘Grace’? What’s the story? As I’ve been asked quite a number of times, I’ve decided to tell its tale. And it starts… in the beginning.

In the beginning, there was science.

At the start of my authoring career, I learned that names aren’t just names – that names have the power to make or break. They can paint images without adjectives and explanations. And they should be chosen wisely. This is especially so on the cover of a book.

As I’ve discovered, there seems to be an unintentional stereotype on non-English names. There’s this subconscious preconceived notion that people without English names aren’t from English speaking countries. Thus, an English book by a non-English named author isn’t up to par with English books by English named authors. It led me to believe that English names sold better. And having a pen name to distance oneself from a certain background was considered ‘wise’. Hence why I now have one.

However, times have changed. I now hear that publishers are looking for more diversity in their author pool, and having a foreign name increases one’s chances of getting published. But, I don’t know how true that is. And I don’t think it changes anything with existing stereotypes. Still, I believe readers have a varying approach to foreign names – whether positive or negative, it is individual. But back then, I wasn’t taking the risk.

So, how did I come about ‘Grace’?

Before I continue, I need to say that I’m not a fan of The Heroes of Olympus. I’ve heard of the books, and I’ve watched that one Percy Jackson movie, but it’s not something I plan on diving into. It’s just not my genre (anymore). Therefore, my pen name being Jeyna Grace – mirroring a fan pairing of the characters – is completely coincidental. I had no idea it was a ship name. And I only learned about it when readers asked if I were a fan. If you’re wondering the same, I hope this clears things up. Jeyna is my real name after all, and I chose Grace because of faith. Yes, you read correctly.

I chose ‘Grace’ because of faith.

I believe in God. I’m sure some of you don’t, and I’m not here to preach anything to you. However, God is the reason why I chose ‘Grace’. Personally, I don’t believe I can accomplish anything without Him. What I have today – my skill, talent (?), and passion – is because of Him. Many of my stories – on this blog and as books – are inspired by Him. And the novels I have in-store are made possible because of Him (not excluding all those who have supported me – I couldn’t have done it without you too).

Putting ‘Grace’ into my pen name is a reminder to myself that I’m nobody without Him. It keeps me humble. Whenever I look upon the covers of my books, I’m instantly reminded that it is all by His grace. Pride has no place when I reflect on His guidance and blessing in my life. And it is through my belief in grace that I rest in His good and perfect plans.

I guess, the story behind ‘Grace’ is pretty uneventful. I simply wanted to make a good first impression with readers, and I needed to remind myself to stay grounded.

If you’re considering on a non de plume, I suggest finding a reason and a meaning to the name. Your name shouldn’t only appeal to your audience, but should hold value to you. You want a name that speaks to you directly and drives you to keep pursuing your passion. Don’t pick a name just because it sounds cool – you can do that with your characters – but pick a name that paints an image you want to see. Let it empower you in your darkest times. And let it break any stereotypes the world might have upon you.

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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3,400 Heroes

3400 Heroes

My titles can get pretty deceiving, especially when I mesh two topics together. That being said, can you guess what they are?

If you have been following me for awhile, then you would know that numbers equate to a new milestone. Yes, I’ve hit 3,400 subscribers 😀 The old timers are probably going, “Oh, no, not again. Another post filled with repeated thank yous?” Sorry guys, blame the dictionary for not having enough words to describe or show gratitude.

So… I just wanna say (again) thank you to all of my subscribers. I really appreciate your subscription, and seeing all the comments and likes makes me very happy. You might think it’s just a ‘like’, but that ‘like’ means a lot 🙂 It tells me my stories don’t suck, because sometimes, honestly, I do think that way with some of my works. Posting stories I don’t think are good scares me, but when I get good feedback it gives me more courage to post more of my works for your guys to read. So thank you all! You guys are the best!

Now on to the word ‘heroes’. Since I’ve taken these posts as a platform to open up more personally, I’ve decided to do the WordPress daily prompt this round. And today’s topic is… Heroic:

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

To be honest, that’s a tough question to answer. I can’t remember much of being five, except that my brother was born that year and I remembered praying to God to give me a brother. Since that is the only prominent memory I have, I would have to say God is my hero… for giving me a brother as I have requested. Today, I still think God is awesome.

At five, I might have also thought Bananas in Pajamas were cool. So maybe they were my heroes. I loved them a lot as a kid and enjoyed watching them make mistakes and go on adventures with the teddy bears. What do I think of them today? Hmmm, I’m glad they are still around 🙂

If you want to blog today but have no idea what to blog about, do this prompt and leave the link in the comments below! I would love to read your answers to these questions.

Anyway, thank you all again for your subscription. I do hope you continue to stick around for many years to come! I’ll be sure to blog for as long as I can 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Others

 

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