What’s in a name? For authors, a lot!

What’s in a name? If you’re an author, a whole lot! I found this out when I got married in August 2008 and my former name, Bev Walton-Porter, became Bev Sninchak. Since I’ve taken on a new married name, I’ve spent endless hours and countless words trying to school people on how to say the name and spell it. Once they’ve mastered one or both, they still have a hard time remembering my new last name. That can be detrimental—and even fatal—to an author’s sales and career.

Why?

It can only be a particular type of hell for a writer to end up with a last name that’s confusing to so many people. I totally get that. I get that my married last name, Sninchak, is confusing and trips people up. However, I’m constantly amused—and annoyed—at how many people don’t even TRY to pronounce it the right way. It’s understandable that they stumble over it, but do they also have to add additional letters that don’t even appear in the name, such as “z,” “h” or “m” as well?

Here are the butchered versions I’ve heard thus far:

–Shimanik (what? There’s an “h” and an “m” I was unaware of? Meanwhile, let’s just completely erase the “ch” altogether!)

–Sinchak (okay, that’s close, so I’ll relent)

–S-nine-in-chak (methinks you’re adding in too many syllables)

and, the winner from today:

–Shizak (WTF? How in the HELL do you come up with THAT?! You lost BOTH “n” letters, added an “h” and then a “z” as well?!)

My husband, Paul, laughs and says he’s all too familiar with it and he’s been putting up with it his whole life. So yeah, this is new to me, but I’m pretty sure if you took the time to sound it out, you could get CLOSE to the pronunciation. I knew his sister in school, and I was able to figure out how to pronounce Sninchak correctly by seeing it in print (school newspaper) without ever having heard it before.

The easiest way is to ask if people can say “sneeze.” You know, the “sn” sound. Okay then. That would be “Snin” and then “chak.” If you take it slow and really READ the word, then pronounce it, you’ll probably get it right or come very close.

So why am I bringing all of this up? Because when I first got married, I considered moving all my writing over to my married name. That hasn’t worked well. People can’t remember the name, much less spell it. That’s death to a writer/author’s sales if someone can’t remember the name or how to spell it.

Given this situation, I’m going to continue to write under the name Bev Walton-Porter. It’s familiar, it’s been around for decades and people know how to spell/pronounce it.

Perhaps the upside—if there is one—is that I’ll maintain some anonymity in my personal life since I only use my married name in the day-to-day realm. I suppose there’s that. Yes, quite. Quite indeed.

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Over it!

When I’m done with something, I’m done with it. When I don’t wanna do something anymore, I don’t wanna do it — period. If I have to keep doing it, I resent it and become hostile. I also turn to avoidance tactics. The more you try to make me do it, the less I will. Forcing me does NOT work — ever. When my mind is made up, it’s made up…and it takes a long time for me to get to this final stage. I give lots of chances. It can take months or years for me to finally get fed up. However, once I’m there, there’s no going back. Thankfully, my husband understands this and supports me 100 percent. He knows when I’ve reached my limit. He doesn’t try to change my mind/talk me out of it. He respects that it’s a decision I have to make for my own sanity and self-respect. Paul, I love you for supporting and encouraging me during the most trying of times. ❤

Strange and creepy nighttime episode!

Shared this with a friend in a comment and decided to post it here as well. Do you like creepy stories? Well, here’s one from my own life! The only thing is…I don’t remember ANY of it. I asked Paul to tell me what happened again because I feel I need to post it here before I forget. Here’s what he said went down (again, I do NOT remember any of this):

The strange event happened about three years ago, according to his estimation. Paul says he woke up and I was making low, guttural noises. He asked if I was okay. I replied, “Uhhhh-huuuhhhh” in a sing-song voice. He told me he loved me. I rolled over, began tickling him while cackling, then responded, “We love you, too!” Then he says I stopped, rolled over and went back to sleep. Paul laid there and jokingly thought, “Great! Now I have to tell the kids their mother is possessed!” He figured it was a weird sleep episode and dismissed it.

>>>>END of story<<<<

Now, tell me that isn’t creepy! He thought I’d been awake and joking with him, but I hadn’t.

Shortly thereafter, we were in the car riding down the road and he told me this story. I replied, “Paul, you’re creeping me out. Stop it. Quit effing with me!” He said he wasn’t joking and I told him I didn’t remember ANYTHING like that AT ALL. I had chills down my arms.

Ever since, I’ve been bothered by what he told me. At first I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was dead serious. He will recount the same story to anyone who asks. He’s not kidding. It did happen, and I have NO idea what to make of it. I don’t remember anything about that episode.

The “We love you, too!” part creeps me out. I mean, “we”? I’m just ME, not “we”! I joke about it to other people we’ve told the story to, but deep down it still makes me shudder. It was probably a weird sleep episode, but it’s still strange/weird!