I suppose, with a name like Richard Zowie, those reading this blog would assume that that is a pseudonym, my nom de plume, my pen name. Believe it or not, it isn’t. It’s my real name. It originates from Germany, where my great-grandfather’s surname was Zahnweh. Around 1912, when my grandfather was an orphan, it was changed.

As far as pen names go, I’ve used a couple in my lifetime. One was for a column where I wrote about a very sensitive subject (sorry, would rather not say when or where). In satire, I like to write under the name C.F. Twob (based on a nickname a college friend gave me). As a Christian whose literary tastes vary, I’ve thought that it might be good at times to use pen names if writing in different genres. After all, if a person’s known for being a comedic writer, such as Mel Brooks, would anybody take a horror novel seriously if it was written by Mel Brooks?*

Names I’ve tossed around include homages to places where I’ve lived (such as my birthplace, West Monroe, Louisiana) and to places where my ancestors were from (such as Kent, England and Mötzing, Germany).

*Mel Brooks, a comedic filmmaker perhaps best known for Blazing Saddles, actually was an executive producer on the drama The Elephant Man. Knowing people would see his name and think the movie was a comedy or satire, Brooks selflessly chose to take his name off the film’s credits.

 the late Sebastian Paul Zowie, was born Sylvester Sebastian Zahnweh, the son of a German immigrant. For reasons we still don’t quite know, around 1912–when he was five–his name was americanized.