Someone has called me her alter ego.
This is how I understand it. First, how I was born, if you will. When she thought about actually preparing Life Without Shoes for publication, when she had finished Chapter 1, she wanted a different ‘person’ to be out front.
She chose ‘Emma Cyrus’ out of a list she developed from family names combined in unusual ways. Both these names are from her dad’s side of the family. So, there’s a link to her personal life, but it’s subtle.
I think part of this was for privacy. The world of the book is drawing on a deeply personal aspect of her life. Too much exposure seems uncomfortable.
She recently watched part of a documentary in which J.K. Rowling re-visited the flat she lived in when she was writing the first Harry Potter novel. The author didn’t exactly sob, but it was obvious she really wished the camera weren’t there.
I also think the pseudonym helps my ‘owner’ (not really the right word) create an author persona that’s distinct from her everyday life. When she’s writing, she becomes me, she steps inside my skin. She blocks out everything that’s not about the creative process that hour or that day.
As we work together, my ‘life’ is becoming more fleshed out. I actually have a different personality. And her day-to-day life isn’t swamped with the ups and downs of writer hood.