Married name or maiden name for my new novel?

I’ve decided to use my maiden name ‘Haywood’ for my new novel. There are several reasons. The first reason is over the years quite a few people have spelt my name wrong. I put it down to all the double-u’s. The most common mistake has been only one ‘l’ in my surname. The variety of names has been hilarious from ranging from ‘Shepherd’ (I knew it had something to do with sheep!)  to ‘Willi-cock’ (not kidding – it was a Chinese take-away and they shouted out the name in a busy restaurant).

The second reason is the alphabetical position on the bookshelves. I went to several bookshops and libraries purely to look at where the ‘w’ could be located nowadays. In the libraries’ they are floor-level. My eyesight is not what it used to be (but not bad) and I had to get on my hands and knees and crane my neck to read the spine covers, w’s are delegated to the bottom right hand corners furthest away from you. Indeed one of my poetry books at the libraries had disappeared altogether, even on the library database. (This is worrying and I have to investigate further.) Whereas the first few letters of the alphabet names take pride of place at eye-level and the start of browsing (though several recommended books are on display by well-known authors). E-books display alphabetically the same hard/soft cover books.

When I studied at university I ignored advice to use my maiden name for poetry as I was proud of my surname, and it’s taken me years to build up to where I am now so I won’t change it for poetry, after all, I can boast as being next to ‘Wordsworth’ in one anthology.

The misspelling of my surname has never bothered me, but I don’t want my novel to be at people’s feet or the last in a long line of display novels. And lastly, I know a lot of women writers that write under their maiden name, so I’ll be in good company. There’s a lot of information on the internet for anyone who wishes to pursue this further.


What’s in a Surname?

Are you Shepherd or Willi-cock?
Do you have one ‘l’ or one ‘t’?
Does your first name have an ‘e’ or an ‘I’?
LINDA!
Are you like, Del la Mare?
Wool la Cott?

Bt is not going to change its misspelling
of your name after forty years. We will
continue to ignore your letters and phone
calls regarding this matter.
We are not going to include ‘the Mrs’
on our utility bills because there simply
isn’t enough room in the squares.
I can only deal with ‘Mr Woollacott’ because
his name is the only name registered.

Ring ring. Can I speak to, Mr W… W… W… Woo… Woo…