An Author By Any Other Name Would Not Be Me

I never liked my first and middle names. My mother named me after a movie star and doomed me to a life of people saying “Oh, like the actress!” What was she thinking? I guess the situation could have been worse. My mother could have named me after a shooting star. Imagine someone saying “Hi, Cysalist!” No one would be certain whether I was a disease or an insect casing.

I liked my maiden name until a new world leader emerged. He used the identical surname spelling but pronounced i differently. Some people argued that I had mispronounced my last name all my life. Really? To be fair not everyone disagreed. They asked if I was related to the world leader over and over and over.

Then I fell in love and married. Fortunately my husband’s surname had only one pronunciation. Unfortunately I encountered people who thought my new last name could be spelled correctly by omitting or adding various letters at whim. Maybe they thought they were on Wheel of Fortune and could buy a vowel.

So what does my name saga have to do with being an author? Everything. It’s why I wanted to have a pen name. I could choose my own name. Any name. I brainstormed lists and conducted polls, but the final decision was mine.

What did I do? I chose a name I  first heard when I lived in England.  I ignored the fact that Jillian is not an easy name to spell, but then what name is. I don’t mind that Jillian Michaels has the same first name. However, can I spin a wheel and win her abs, age, and height?

I didn’t want a middle name. An actress might have it. The surname Lark suits my affinity for carefree adventure and childhood obsession with chasing shore larks along the English coast. Lark also fits the light tone and spirited characters in my writing.

I can’t think of a better pen name for me. Recently a woman I didn’t know read my name tag and said, “You have the perfect name!” I don’t know if other people agree. If not, I can always blame my mother.

WARNING: The post you read is true. Some names have been omitted to protect the author. She’s innocent . . . this time.

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