Tuesday, February 7, 2012

E.J. Copperman asks: What's In A Name?

by Guest Blogger E.J. Copperman

E.J. Copperman--No. Seriously.

I'll get it right out of the way: The third book in my Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, OLD HAUNTS, will be published February 7. I think it's good, and hope you will, too. And I wouldn't have brought it up but for two things: 1. A couple of incidents related to OLD HAUNTS prompted this post and 2. I'd be an idiot not to promote my book on this blog.

Here's the thing--In the past week, I've seen the first review of OLD HAUNTS, and someone listing their favorite mysteries of 2011 was kind enough to include my AN UNINVITED GHOST among those. The review was very complimentary and generous, and I appreciated it greatly. Never let it be said I reacted badly to any review, but especially a positive one. And it was honestly a thrill to be included among someone's favorites of the year. Authors live for such moments. I'll never complain about them, I promise. There was, however, one point on both the review and the list that attracted my attention, and I'll admit in both cases, it concerned me.

Both the reviewer and the kind reader think my last name is "Cooperman."

Now, I realize that the name "Copperman" is easy to misread and just as easy to mis-type. I get that. I don't blame anybody for the error, which believe me happens all the time. It's been a problem for as long as I've been named Copperman. I live in fear that one day even I will get it wrong.

I have, in fact, considered actually CHANGING my name to "Cooperman," so that those people would be right. But I worry that then they'd start spelling it "Copperman," and I'd be out of options.

The fact is, as long as people remember the title of the book (which in this case, I might have mentioned, is OLD HAUNTS), a letter or two misplaced in the author's name is probably unimportant. Still, there is a certain visceral response when you see your own name misspelled. You feel like people don't really care who you are, that you are secondary to the process, that you might as well be named something else for all they care.

All of which is essentially true and perfectly natural, but it's just a couple of letters, for crying out loud.

After all, do I spell YOUR name wrong?

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E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The latest in the series, OLD HAUNTS, publishes February 7. Previous titles include NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and AN UNINVITED GHOST. You can find out more at www.ejcopperman.com

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