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What's in a name?

November 7, 2007
Posted at 8:56 am

Ever since I started writing stories, I used the name "Beating Off Bob" to publish them under.

I did that intentionally, and wrote about that in other blog entries in the past, so I won't go into all that here. You can look them up if you want to.

And, ever since I started writing stories, I've gotten mail from people who liked the stories, but didn't like my pen name. I created a second pen name "Just Bob" as an experiment, to post some things that weren't the traditional "Beating Off Bob" kind of story. You liked those stories too.

Now those of you who have followed my "career" as an author, have also written to me about other things, and your comments have affected my writing. Most of you say that has been a good thing. That's because you guys had pretty good ideas, and I used them, in some cases.

Listening to you has made me a better author, and I wanted you to know that.

At the same time, there are some other authors who have chosen to use "Bob" in their pen names. I have, for a long time, gotten email asking if I am posting stories under more than one name, and asking why I wrote such and such story in the way I did when, in fact, I didn't write the story at all. One of these other Bobs did.

I don't like being mis-identified as somebody else. I don't want people to think I wrote their stories, and I don't want people to think they wrote mine. It was for that reason that I abandoned "Just Bob" as a pen name, and consolidated everything under "Beating Off Bob".

Even after that, I get mail that confuses me with one of these other Bob fellows.

So I find myself in a situation where my original pen name, which people don't like, is still being confused with other pen names.

As a result, I have created another pen name, which does not include Bob in it. I'm in the process of finding out what it will take to move all my stories under that pen name.

It's going to look like I disappeared, one of these days. I'm not disappearing, though. I'm just changing my name. I hope to be able to leave a clear trail so that those of you who want to find me can find me. In any case, my email address should not change, so you can still write to me if you're lost, and I'll tell you what is going on.

I'm also doing this in the middle of posting a very long series of stories, called "The Making of a Gigolo", so that the name change will be easier to track, since the series title is already established.

If things work out the way I hope they do, the Beating Off Bob account will still exist for a month or two. There will only be one story in it, which will look suspicously like this blog entry, but it will tell people where I've gone, and how to find me.

Thanks for your ideas. Thanks for reading. I hope this doesn't screw things up.