There is this tiny thing that causes me a headache, and that is my name and should I use it as my writer name or not. It is not that I hate it, alright it could be much nicer name (more melodious and appealing and all that shit). What trips me is that it is impossible to pronounce without it sounding like someone is threatening you. Yes! it is that bad. For example take my surname, not the fictitious Ashcomb I came up with, but the one I was blessed with: Tuhkanen. If someone English speaking tried to pronounce it, it would sound like: Tuk-haa-nen. Okay, that mind not look or sound that bad, but for me, my name got just butchered. For me, it sounds like someone is trying to raise the cursed pharaoh Tutankhamun and is sending him after your brain or something as absurd.
Whenever I hear Tuk-haaa-nen, I instantly want to run.
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but just a tiny bit. You can leave the brains out, but keep the curse and the killing part.
And my first name, not pretty at all. It sounds like someone is saying cat tree. Okay not so bad. I like cats and I have two myself, Fuzzy and Sharp. Still, I rather not be thought as a cursed cat tree who is after your brain. So, I think I will stick with my initials K.A. and with my made up surname which will not cause nightmares of zombie trees.
(Very self-centred post to start with, but hey this is my blog and I can do whatever I want.)
Still the problem exists, am I being untruthful by not using my real name and giving an easier name to say and remember for my audience? Is it dishonest to change names just for marketing purposes? I like my given name; it is part of me. And if I wanted to use a prettier name, I would have gone with something like Catherine Wordsworth, but she sounds someone who should write prose with a hint of romance or at least some haunted tale of a desperate wreck of a human being; but that is not me and that is not my intention. I want to give a fair fighting chance for my books, for my text, and not let it be hindered by something arbitrary as my name (or my gender). I like to see the matter as levelling the playing field. Still, I understand anyone who says that what I’m doing is wrong, I would like not to have to do this, but I know that the world doesn’t work that way; that your gender and name can hinder your life. For me if my books sell or not is a big thing, but not as big as someone not getting a job, being harassed, or killed because of a name. Names are important.