Jayne Hitchcock here –
There’s one question that never fails to get asked when I’m doing a book signing or speaking at a conference or school or library: Is that your real last name?
Why yes, it is.
Then: Are you related?
I reply: Do I look like him? and then there’s usually laughter.
For those who are scratching your heads, I’m referring to Alfred Hitchcock.
I mean, seriously, if I was related to him, don’t you think I’d be flaunting it?
I then say: Well, my maiden name is Doyle and somewhere along the line, we are related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so I guess I was destined to be a writer.
Some people look at me cross-eyed, having no clue I am referring to. Those poor, poor people (ha ha).
When I was growing up, having the last name of Doyle gave me some nifty nicknames in school:
Jayne Dole (as in the pineapple – we lived in southern California, so Dole was a big deal there)
I have no clue what the last one meant, but at least they weren’t mean nicknames!
So, now I will confuse you all further. I married my current husband in June of 2008. His last name is Poulin. Since I had established my name as a writer and in the field of cyber crime, I decided not to change it to his last name after we married. He’s cool with that. Some people are not and think I should have changed it and use Hitchcock for writing. But then explaining to them that checks are made out to Hitchcock and it would be too confusing doesn’t go anywhere. I guess there are still old-fashioned people out there.
I even called the Social Security office and the IRS and both suggested keeping Hitchcock (from a previous marriage – he died in 2006). So far, it’s worked out perfectly fine for both of us, although he is called Mr. Hitchcock more often than not. It’s a good thing he’s got a sense of humor and just goes along with it.
Plus, I get the “are you related to Alfred” question and nine times out of ten they buy my book, so it’s all good.
Did your name affect your writing or your life? If you’re a writer, do you use a pen name instead? If so, why and how did you choose your pen name? Curious minds want to know!