Thursday, 19 April 2012

Stranger with my name

A while ago I was musing whether or not to have a pen name. I entered the last New Voices under Rosy Gilmore but didn't want to start marketing myself under a new identity just yet:
1. It seems a little premature, I mean I am learning all the time but that elusive contract still seems a way off
2. Although I don't strictly believe in superstition I do believe in Hubris (sacrifices vegetarian fake-goat to the gods) and what if marketing myself as a writer jinxes everything?
3. Say I do get a contract (crosses fingers) what if the editors/marketing department/teaboy don't like the name I choose, I'd have to set up a new identity from scratch
4. Contrary to every snooty journalist wanting an easy jibe's opinion writing category romance is HARD so if I ever do get there, well it'd be quite nice to have my name on the cover to show the world I made it
5. I quite like being sprig muslin and yrosered, I don't feel ready for a longer name yet!

Thing is my name is very popular. I have to tag my husband's surname onto it for my email address which then makes it unwieldy and would never work as a pen name. However google it and there are doctors, lawyers, models, jewellers, photographers, many, many teenagers obsessing over Bieber all sharing my name. Adding my less common (and hated) middle name doesn't help, there are other mes out there afflicted with exactly the same one.

And then two weeks ago I realised I had no choice, I have to have a pen name (if the time ever comes, sacrifices vegetarian fake-chicken). There is a book on the shelves Right Now with my name on it. It's even  romance (but not category). But it ain't me.

I saw published not-me mentioned as part of a blog tour and had to track her down on Twitter (quite rational I assure you). Took a while, there being lots of us. Of course I followed her- and tweeted her to tell her I was doing so and why. She obligingly follows me back. Now my tweets are all yrosered but not-me uses her full name, of course she does, people need to know who she is so they can buy the book. It is the oddest thing to be scrolling down your timeline and to see a tweet with your name on it. Every time I look at it, read it, wrinkle my brow in puzzlement and think 'I didn't say/do that' before the penny finally drops.

I downloaded not-me's book today and am very much looking forward to it. And if it never does happen for me, and if for any reason my old school went all American and had a reunion, well at least I have the option of purchasing hers, carrying it round and looking mysterious yet modest when people assume I wrote it!

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