What’s in a Name?

My lack of posting is fairly embarrassing, however I’ve good reason. I’m a changed man.

I left for a fishing weekend to County Cork as a young and spritely thirty-something Kerry Muir. I have returned as a world weary, battle hardened thirty-something K.D. Muir. No real difference you say? Well no. I’m the same weight (maybe slightly heavier), the same height, I’ve the same passport and surprise- surprise, I have the same wife and children.

What I had never given any thought to was what name would grace the cover of an imagined book written by me. It’s never been a great concern because I have never quite got that far. However the world of self/e-publishing has meant the writer controls a lot more of their destiny than they had in the past and this includes things like cover design and copy editing and the pen name they use to market their books. After some deliberation I have decided that name is simply K.D. Muir.

If you look at some notable examples of writers who have used their initials in recent times, you will see that likes of J.K. Rowling and P.D. James simply wanted a level footing with the men who predominantly wrote in those genres. I am however a man with a unisex name and so it makes sense to take the sex of the writer out of the equation. Interestingly, the latest sensation in literature E.L James chose not to use her name even though it is obvious the people who are buying the fifty shades series are women anyway. I guess there are other reasons to use initials as some are stronger than others.

The other thing I wrestled with was the idea of having one name for fiction works and one for non-fiction, as I write both.  I only needed one example to realise this want necessary. One of my hero’s Nick Hornby writes both Non-Fiction (Fever Pitch) and Fiction (High Fidelity) so in terms of isolating or confusing a reading audience, it is really more a case of they either like you or they don’t.

I am by no means ungrateful for my name( No worries Mum). Nor am I too fussed that I am named after a girl* but I think this pen names the way to go. We shall see…You can find K.D. Muir on Facebook and Twitter and occasionally wearing the same clothing that Kerry Muir used to wear.


*For those interested in the origin of “Kerry”, you will have to read about it in my forthcoming memoir ‘The Rugby Blanket’ timed nicely to coincide with the anniversary of the World Cup winning feats of the All Blacks. And when I say timed nicely, I mean hopefully before the next World Cup.

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