Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shelving Jennifer

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a name other than Jennifer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jennifer is a pretty name, but it was way too popular when I was growing up. Everywhere I went, I ended up with dumb nicknames to differentiate me from other Jennifers.

If the nicknames had been cool, I would have celebrated the popularity of my name, but they were usually unflattering or were a bludgeoned version of my last name (Briggs). I went through years of high school bearing the undignified name of Briggsy. This was due to the fact that there were 10 Jennifers in a class of 100 kids!

When I got married and added Stanley to my name, I was able to merge the Jennifer and the Briggs to make J.B. Then, when the Hope Street Church books went into production, I reverted to regular old Jennifer.
So you can imagine my excitement when my editor at Berkley Prime Crime said I could pick a pen name for my new Books By the Bay mysteries. 

A new name! Anything I wanted? WOW!

As most of you know by now, I chose Ellery Adams. My mom and I
used to read Ellery Queen books every winter and for me, the name Ellery is synonymous with mystery –more so than Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, or Dashiell Hammett. And really, I don’t look like a Dashiell. The Adams part is less interesting. After being at the end of the alphabet in the bookstore for the past four years, I wanted to be in the beginning for a spell. 

Now here’s a fun game! Pretend I’m your editor and I’ve just called to tell you that I need a pen name for your new mystery series. What would yours be?