But I've been curious about something. If you're a published or soon-to-be published author with a background in online fandom, would you mind telling me what you decided to do with that background once your deal went through, and why?
If you chose to separate your fannish and professional identities, for instance, what factors influenced that decision? Was it your agent's recommendation to hide your secret Bat-identity, or did your publisher require it, or was it just something you felt would be prudent? If the decision was mostly yours, did you make it because you were embarrassed by the thought of people digging up your old fanfics, or because you worried about possible legal repercussions, or because you feared that your fellow pro authors would despise you if they knew? Or was there some other reason?
If on the other hand you've chosen not to hide your former (or present) fannish involvement, what gave you the confidence to make that decision? Have you had any unpleasant experiences that make you wish you'd chosen differently? Or have you found reasons to be glad you made that decision, and if so, what were they?
For my part, I've decided to write under the same pen name I've used for years, and keep my fanfic links page as part of my author site. I've been open about my fanfic writing past with both my agent and my new editor, and neither of them seems to think it's a problem, so I'm going ahead and hoping for the best. But sometimes I wonder if I'm going to regret that choice.
I'd love to get as much input on this as possible, so if you know of someone who fits the bill, please give them the heads-up. Anonymous commenting is welcome for authors who prefer to be discreet.