My real name is not Willow Shire. Willow Shire is a pen name derived from several of my favorite things:
- Willow Rosenberg, a character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Willow Ufgood, the main character of the 1980s fantasy film Willow
- Willow trees as I’ve always loved these gentle giants
- Shire from Lord of the Rings
It’s not out of a desire to hide my intentions or hide behind a different persona. The pen name came when I began my writing journey. At the time, I struggled with depression, keeping myself moving, and simply being happy. When I first published Fury, Book One of The Fae Awakening, an urban fantasy story, I wanted to have a marketable fantasy name.
That name underwent many brainstorming sessions between me and my partner. I finally settled on Willow Shire for non-fiction and Will O’Shire for fantasy, for a variety of reasons you can read on my authors website.
During one of my recent retreats, wondering how this journey would go, I sat by a campfire blazing under the full moon’s light. As I waited for someone, something to present itself, a voice crawled into my mind.
The voice asked a simple question, a question I didn’t expect… an answer I never expected.
It kindly asked, “What’s your name?”
Without thinking, I immediately answered, “Willow Shire.”
Stumbling after the words left my mind, I mumbled out loud, “That’s not my name. Why did I say that?”
The voice chuckled, reassuring me with its tone, “That’s your name, now.”
When I thought about it, I felt the words to be truthful. Over the past year, I worked hard to build a writing business, one disrupted by the appearance of COVID-19 which was a blessing in disguise allowing me to focus on the intuitive work. Working conventions, meeting readers, talking with vendors, growing relationships, everyone called me, “Will.”
Or “Will, Bob, Fred, Nick,” as a joke from those who used my real name, Nick.
During 2019, I truly shed my life as Nick and became Willow, fantasy author and intuitive communicator. It’s natural for me to use the name when the others visit.
It is a pen name, but it is my name, a name designed for me and the work I do, and I often wonder, given to me by those who watch in the distance, visiting from time to time to teach me about new worlds, new people, new beings, and other magical things I could never imagine in any fictional creation.
That’s why I call myself Willow Shire…
I am Willow Shire.