Um, I don’t know yet. Yesterday, I announced a contest to help Gerhi figure out what name he should write under. Gerhi gets to decide who won (or he can decide that none of the answers works for him). Gerhi, let me know your decision via email, or post a comment here, as you like. The winner gets a free one-page critique from me.
We had a lot of comments today, so I’m going to be brief in this post, so as to let everyone have time to read all the comments. There were many ideas, and I’m not sure which was the best. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Tomorrow, we’ll move on to the topic that I’ve delayed for a couple of days — how to host your web site. There are LOT of options here, so it might take a few days to work through them all. And some of you will find this discussion elementary. Yes, it is, but it’s necessary so everyone will be up to speed. Soon enough, we’ll move on from there to a discussion of how to put your blog on your web site and then we’ll talk about the actual art of blogging.
Daan Van der Merwe says
Gerhi is going to choose the winner!?
Hi Gerhi, 🙂
I never had the privilege of meeting you, but from your comments I can tell that you are a very thoughtful and intelligent young man.:-)
Pam Halter says
Daan, you are so funny!
Gerhi, keep in mind that I agreed with Daan. 😉
bonne friesen says
Oh come on Daan, I know you can lay it on thicker than that! Maybe we need a contest of the most hyperbolic flattery…subtlety is highly overrated…
Craig Hardee says
I’m a new subscriber to your blog and am enjoying it greatly. I’ve written non-fiction articles for many years, but started this new year with the resolve to start again with fiction. Going to other writers’ blogs led me to your website and blog.
Thanks for providing all the great information you do through your website and blog.
I look forward to your insights on hosting, since I have a small hosting service myself. Hopefully, I’ll learn not only about fiction writing, but about how to improve the service I offer.
Gerhi (under review) Janse van Vuuren says
With so much riding on this I wanted to give my ‘judging’ some serious consideration. I haven’t decided anything at this moment. I have just extracted all the entries to be able to look at them all afresh.
There were thirty-one entrants. Three, almost 10 percent, spelled my first name wrong. No hard feelings. It happens daily. Just highlight the points made about being unpronouncable and unspellable. With the number of variations on my surname I couldn’t tell if it were spelled wrong or not.
I loved Brandy Brows conjunctions. We used to do the same when people asked us what we were going to call our children. Until my dad pulled me aside and said that they don’t care what we named them, as long as it was a ‘real’ name.
My wife thinks the whole exercise is silly. Why would I want to change a perfectly good name. She uses screen reading sofware and her email cuts of my surname at Jan… so her computer read me as ‘Jeory January’. The programme was written by Americans so that is what I expect to happen to my name. But back to judging.
I named my son Benjamin so I deleted all options focussing on that, sorry. But thinking of Walter Benjamin, Benjamin as a surname could have worked well.
That left five options. A changed, anglisized version of some sort; a real name in variation; an initials and surname; other options such as only a first name or an initial for a surname; and keeping my name, though there is no consitency on what my name is.
I found the idea of being part of a lunch box as a PBJ quite funny, but I can’t cope with that many initials.
In the end I cannot say that any one suggestion jumped out at me or convinced me either way so that I can make a final decision. So my vote is going to go for the comment that made me think the most.
But before that (see, I’m learning to build tension into my writing) I looked over my bookshelf and three names popped out.
Ursula K. Le Guinn – she made it work for her, complicated spelling four parts and all.
C.J. Cherryh – after 15 years I still don’t know how to pronounce that.
And Lewis Carroll – a pseudonym. Apparently the Queen (the real one) liked his Alice and Wonderland and let him know that he may dedicate his next book to her. A royal may is more of a command and he did dedicate his next book to her. A mathematical treatise under his real name.
And now, the winner, for making me think the most is (and this also possibly means that I’m not changing a thing) Debbie Thorkildsen. Especially her last comment: “Have fun writing and publishing as you.”
Thanks for everybody who pitched in ideas. Nothing anybody said was ignored.
And thanks for the spotlight Randy. I really helped me to focus on my identity as a writer. I am still undecided but I have lot more ways to think about it and I will come to a final decision soon. Then I just need to write that dastardly book.
Gerhi (under review) Janse van Vuuren says
Now a word to Daan,
Firstly, I think you are misjudging my age or maybe I’m misjudging yours. Secondly, you are welcome to contact me. There is a contact form on my site you can use. I’d love to exchange notes.
Ons kan dit selfs in Afrikaans doen!
Charlotte Babb says
If it makes any difference at this point, I have to spell and pronounce my last name to American native speakers, and it is an English name (not Babe or Baaaab :-). My first name is always murdered, sometimes even to “Shirley,” not to mention the 18 ways people spell it.
Write as you. (Maybe Gerhi Jansen?) but I like your name. If you get so famous you need body guards, you’ll have money to pay them.
Hmmm. A name contest. Maybe I need to think of alternatives for my last name, which consists only of two consonants. Randy once offered me one of his vowels, but we never quite reached an agreement on that one. 😉
Tami Meyers says
Gerhi, I’m a little late on my reply, but I don’t think it really matters much what name you write under as long as you write a great story. Face it, nobody knew who Stephen King was until he wrote Carrie. At that point he could have been Ichabod Lipschlitz and would still have made a ton of $$$$…
I say go with your heart; what do you want to see when you look at your first novel on the local book store shelf?
Gerhi Janse van Vuuren says
“I say go with your heart; what do you want to see when you look at your first novel on the local book store shelf?”
New International Bestseller! 😉
Here is my personal choice shortlist (none of which was suggested as far as I know):
Gerhard J. Van Vuuren
Gerhard J. V. Vuuren
G. J. V. Vuuren
Janse V. Vuuren
And most probably in the order I prefer them.
Now, let Randy get on with his blog. Randy, do you consider the ‘art of blogging’ a good idea in developing craft. Forgetting the marketing benefit how much priority would you give it as a writing exercise?
Daan Van der Merwe says
Aw drat! And I spent three hours last night selecting the ideal page for Randy to critique! Congratulations Debbie. You deserve it. Pam, thank you for your support!
I have a pretty good idea how old you are Gerhi. I have visited your website (the previous one) sometime ago. I’m 54.
My comment yesterday was a joke!! As in ‘not to be taken seriously’, as in ‘not even remotely resembling the truth’. That is the way it is with jokes.
However, if I have offended you or any reader, I am happy to set the record straight and I hereby offer my humble apologies.
Pam Halter says
I also agree with Tami. The most important thing is a great story.
Gerhi, for your short list, I like Gerhard J. Van Vuuren the best.
Thanks for letting us take part in this little name the author session. It was fun, and things like this help us get to know each other a little better.
I’m impressed with Daan and Gerhi if they’re writing in English as a second language. And with less opportunity for writing conferences than those of us in the US. That’s inspiring. I look forward seeing the names of those who blog here in print, and especially you two!
Oh yeah, I just want you all to see that I’m waiting very patiently for the blog discussion to resume.
I like Gerhard J. Van Vuuren best of the shortlist, too. It sounds the most authentic.
I think “Daan Van der Merwe” alos needs a change of name. Daan, remember, you started that kind of, say joke eh?
I suggest Gerhy V. (to be pronounced Gerhy Vee, remember Kenny G.)