Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's in a name?

"Malice in Miniature" hits the shelves today—the third book in my Miniature Mystery series. I suppose I can't call it a "new" series anymore. And I can hardly say my penname is new, either. In fact, I've been using "Margaret Grace" more and more.

The first time I used my penname outside of a book event was when I was ordering a birthday cake over the phone. "Who'll be picking it up?" the person asked. I happened to be looking down at one of my books, so instead of saying, "Camille Minichino," I said, "Margaret Grace."

"Okay," the clerk said.

That easy! No spelling it twice? No "Is that Carmel Mendocino?" "Is that two m's and one l? Oh, one m and one l?" "Did you say Maraschino?"

And so on.

In my neighborhood growing up, my name was one of the simpler ones to spell and pronounce. I went to school with a Pietropaulo, an Abbagnale, a Castelnuovo, a Bocanegra, and others equally complicated to the non-Italian-American.

I remember in fourth grade, a new girl came to town. Her name was Beth Rogers. No one could pronounce her name.

Sometimes I wish my "new" books had my "real" name on them. But both names are real, I remind myself; they represent different sides of me.

Do you have only one name? Do you like it?


Sheila Connolly said...

I write under two names, which is entertaining--I have to make sure I'm signing the right name to the right book. And I joke, when invited to events, that with me you get two writers for the price of one.

No one can spell my name. The most common mistakes are "Shiela" and "Connelly". The first makes phonetic sense, but most people who have the name spell it my way (we'll ignore the Shelagh crowd--that's kind of ersatz Irish, since the correct Irish spelling is Sile). Connelly is the more common English spelling--not Irish! Think John, not Michael (although it's a nice cozy place to be on a bookstore shelf, sandwiched between them).

Anonymous said...

I do like my name, but funny, but I've been contemplating changing my email address to reflect just that. hmmmmmmmm xoxoxox

Kathryn Lilley said...

I actually write under my maiden name, so it is "mine"! But then I have my "other" name that I use socially. Works well!

Camille Minichino said...

My husband is amused that I didn't give up my "maiden name" but rushed to accommodate my publisher with a pen name!

and Sheila, who would think that such an easy name would have so many variations!

Ann Parker said...

I write under my own name, the one I was given at birth. Simple, no middle name or initial. About as easy as you can get! :-) Although, people do tend to want to put an "e" at the end of the first name...

Ann Parker

Terri Thayer said...

Congrats on the release! I'm writing under my maiden name which is easier to pronounce. I love it.

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks Terri. Hope to see you at the SinC meeting 2/7