by Marie Johnston
My husband, though… When my oldest daughter was about two years old, she started calling her Ken doll her Daddy doll. This Ken had black hair and blue eyes like my husband, so I could see how she connected the two, but that was as far as the resemblance went. But then she’d point at men in pictures and say Daddy. Cover models on magazines: Daddy. Superman: Daddy. Any man with dark hair and awesometackular abs was Daddy.
I thought it was cute, but started to wonder… Why wasn’t she pointing out female models as Mommy? Why weren’t her brunette Barbie dolls called Mommy dolls? One day, when my “Runner’s World” arrived in the mail, my daughter pointed to the attractive cover model wearing nothing but athletic shorts and an impressive six-pack and said, “Daddy.” So, I found a magazine with a dark-haired woman on the front asked her if that was Mommy.
Sigh… I tried. Moving on…
Much like Wes did in the first scene of Unmistaken Identity, I’ve also introduced myself as someone else. I do this rather regularly, in fact.
Hi, I’m Marie Johnston.
For over a decade, coming up with ideas of pen names was fun and by the time I actually wrote a book, I knew what my pseudonym would be. I thought of using my real name, but I wanted the separation between my personal life and my business. Marie Johnston is, essentially, my business name. Only instead of introducing myself as So-And-So from Company Name, I can simply say “I’m Marie Johnston.”
But let me tell you—The first time I had to introduce myself as my pseudonym was weeeeiiiirrrrd. I went to my first writing conference last year and every time I said “I’m Marie” I thought someone was going to jump out and yell “LIAR!!!!”. It was odd enough to get used to signing all my emails as Marie, but person-to-person is something I’m still not used to.
My critique group is across the country from me and when we meet, which isn’t often enough anymore, they Facetime me. One time, one member tried to get ahold of me and since me and my family can’t figure out the mystery of keeping our phone accounts separated, she got my husband on Facetime. When she asked for me, she got a gruff, “I don’t know anyone named Marie.”
So, there are few hurdles when going by a different name than normal. If I had to develop another pen name again, I’d probably keep my real first name. A lot less weirdness that way. Until then, “Hi, I’m Marie Johnston.”
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Marie's Newest Sexy Contemporary: Unmistaken Identity
Despite being abandoned by his father years ago, Wesley inherited all of his dad’s assets and ambition—but not his gullibility. When the tantalizing woman at his nightclub turns out to be the woman who scammed his lonely father, he seizes the chance for a little revenge. But after using a fake name to get close to his target, Wes is soon coming up with excuses to keep his identity secret a little longer.
As the forty-five days count down, Mara’s loyal customers swoop in to help save her store. Even more, her handsome new boyfriend is making her believe in happy endings again. Too bad secret identities only last forever in comic books.
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