What’s in a name?

When I first ventured into creative writing, I chose to use a pen name. My first few stories were of a dystopian nature with implied or explicit reference to environmental catastrophes. I didn’t want confusion between the real environmental science I was studying at the time and the imagined science of these stories.

Since then, I have published several short stories using Alan Kemister, my pen name, and others using Phil Yeats, my real name. I have now ventured into writing novels and am again using my pen name because my long-term goal is to complete a novel set in the world of global climate change research, the very field I was working in at the end of my scientific research career.

The name I chose, Alan Kemister, is derived from alkemist and harks back to my professional training in chemistry and an interest in chemistry’s roots in alchemy.

So, I use a pen name, probably silly because it’s now been a decade since I’ve been involved in active scientific research. But so be it –  it’s what I chose to do – and I’m sticking with it.

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