Saturday, November 14, 2009

Name Game

One of the most important things to consider in writing is your name. Many use their own name, but some also choose a pseudonym. Some decide to make this move because of the romance stigma, others because of their erotic pennings, many just don't have marketable names (like my given moniker) and others try to compete in a traditionally male sub-genre. And others go for the marketability of where their name falls on the shelf...close enough to those big names, but far enough away not to get knocked down to calf level. 

I chose my pen name based on my grandparents name and the name of a character my favorite actress played. I also chose it because it was different (but not too much) and could work well in different genres. With a name in mind, I set up my website, made business cards, and even had it made my DBA on a bank account so I'd be prepared for payments after selling my novel. 

Now, as a married person, I also have a new name and dealing with the legalities has been a comedy of errors. After the wedding, I had to wait to make things legal because the preacher forgot to fill out the license and then turned it in a week late. So everything that had to trickle down got set back. It's safe to say the bank really wants confirmation of a new name, while other things shouldn't take as many checks and balances. I logged online to my various service sites--power, water, gas, etc.--and was surprised to find only one could be updated online.  And eventhough I had to "walk in" to have a couple changed, they didn't ask for proof (certificate, new license, etc.) before they tweaked their info. With a phone call or two I was able to change things on more accounts with bare snippets of info. And I guess there was a reason I ended up writing this a day late...so I could share my banking story. 

I went to my primary bank in person with all my documents in hand (remember how I said they required proof that I was who I said I was). I took out my marriage certificate, my new license info, and social security papers. The banking administrator looked over my documents, made copies, and even looked at them while typing in my new name. I took a trip to the mail box today, and then came in the house grumbling to husband what I'd waited two weeks for. Not only did the new name on my account (and new debit card) have my old middle name and maiden name, but also a different last name that wasn't my new married name!! So now, I get to make another trip to the bank. *sigh* 

Having a pseudonym was soooo much easier! Though now my initials really are SM :0)

How about you? Have you had any naming issues?


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1 comment:

Beth Caudill said...

I hated changing names. And most of the people tried putting my maiden name as the middle name. Umm, no...that last name is gone. I kept first and middle changed last....no longer have that old name. So why do all my school documents, bank, etc...still have my maiden name no matter how many times I complain and ask them to change it.

Grrrr.