THE CURSE OF THE PSEUDONYM
Having multiple names as a writer isn’t uncommon. It should be a breeze for someone like me because, a peculiarity within my birth family, we are all called by our middle names. If anyone were to shout out my unmentionable first name – they do in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals – I rarely respond. Add to this, in my case, a divorce, a reversion to my maiden name, and then a marriage, you can see how complicated things can get. Certainly, in our ID sensitive, rules is rules, brave new world, it has led to a fair share of headaches when it comes to proving who I am.
My first novel, ‘Absent Light’ was published, using my maiden name: Isherwood. When it came to my agent cutting a deal with a new publisher, it soon became clear that they didn’t fancy the name. As, at that stage, I was writing ‘blokey’ spy novels with the lovely main protagonist, Paul Tallis, it was deemed a good idea to lose the reference to me as a woman completely, stick with a couple of initials instead, and use my second married surname. And so E.V. Seymour was born. It served me well for four novels.
Another change of publisher and, due to a host of factors that don’t need to be outlined here, I, and prior to J K Rowling’s decision to morph into Robert Galbraith, changed sex and became Adam Chase. Two books on, a big switch of genre to psychological thriller, ‘Beautiful Losers’, (due to be released by Midnight Ink on March 8th 2016) and, mercifully, I’m back to who I’ve been quite happily for the past seventeen years: Eve Seymour.
In a way, it feels like coming home. I always wanted to write psychological thrillers, but didn’t have the luck or, frankly, the skill back then, and found myself taking a different route to publication. None of it matters now. Eve Seymour unplugged will do just fine.