Today we welcome back Mysteristas friend Edith Max…um Maddie D…uh, well, we’ll let her explain.
The Deception – or Not – of Using Many Names
Edith Maxwell here. Also known as Maddie Day and Lauren Rousseau in the mystery world, as Max or Mom or Ms to several of my dearest loves, as well as Auntie Max. I’ve been called Doctor Mexlar, Mrs. Hutchison-Maxwell, and Edie.
Wha? How can one person have so many names? I’ll explain. But first I want to thank Mary for inviting me over to join the fabulous Mysteristas today. And second I want to kick myself for agreeing to write a post about deception…on one of the last days of a month of excellent posts by mystery authors about deception, where all the ideas I’d had for the post have already been covered.
So let’s talk names.
My first multi-book publishing contract, with Kensington Publishing, specified I couldn’t publish other mysteries as Edith Maxwell. “A small press is about to offer me a contract for my very first mystery,” I wailed to my agent. We went through the publisher’s lawyer, who said I’d have to use a pen name for that one. Thus was Tace Baker born.
After several books in the Local Foods Mysteries, my Kensington editor bought my proposal for the Country Store Mysteries series … if I would use a pen name. My agent said he wanted it to look like a debut author in the bookstores. I agreed, of course, giving birth to Maddie Day (who might be writing series…just saying).
But I’m hard not to deceive readers. Kensington never said I couldn’t link all the names, and I do. My web site features all my identities and series. I was glad when I learned my historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries could be published as Edith Maxwell, though – it’s the name I’ve had all my life and I’m kind of partial to it.
What about all those other names? What prompted my beau (and consquently his whole family) to call me Max? Why do my best friend and I address each other as Ms? And…who is Dr. Mexlar? Am I really trying to deceive the world? Of course not. I will say I was never legally Mrs. Hutchison-Maxwell, and now I’m no longer a Mrs, so you won’t hear that one anymore. Mom is obvious. And the nickname Edie is strictly reserved for people I grew up with in California. For the other names, I don’t have time here to explain them. But buy me a glass of wine next time you see me and I’ll be happy to!
Readers, what are your various aliases? Do you find it confusing or misleading when an author you like goes by one or more pseudonym? I’ll give away one of my three latest mysteries – your choice – to one commenter today! You can pick among Murder Most Fowl (Local Foods mystery #4), Grilled for Murder (Country Store mystery #2), or Delivering the Truth (Quaker Midwife mystery #1).
Agatha-nominated and bestselling author Edith Maxwell writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. The Vice-President of Sisters in Crime New England, Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau, three cats, and an impressive array of garden statuary. She blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors, at Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink writers.