“My name? I, uh . . . uh . . . ”
I didn’t know how to answer.
I had long imagined the day when, at last, I’d see MY name on the cover of a book. But now, I had two names—maiden and married—and I wasn’t sure which one(s) to use on my very first books. Sensing my dilemma, my editor told me to think it over and get back to her in a couple of days.
As a kid, I liked my uniquely spelled first name. Even if it did rhyme with Fruity (to aid the boys in teasing me). My last name was all right, too, even if it did rhyme with Brain (also most helpful in the teasing arena given I was a straight-A student). Other than that, I had never much thought about what my name signified until that day when my editor asked me who I wanted to be.
Who did I want to be?
The easiest solution would be to use my married name, Trudi Trueit. But would people think I had made it up? I got routinely quizzed about it at the grocery store, the post office, the bank, etc. “Is that your real name?” I'd get the cocked eyebrow. Maybe I should just go with my maiden name. Or how about both maiden and married names? Were three names on the cover too much? Maybe I should do something different, like initials, except they always reminded me of one of those shady, personal injury lawyers.
Were you injured in a car accident? Don’t sign anything until you talk to T.S. Trueit.
|My mom, Shirley, holding me not long after my eye surgery|
And that was that.
In every nonfiction book I have published (74, so far) I was, and will always be, Trudi Strain Trueit. When I published my first fiction book in 2005, I decided to go with Trudi Trueit on the cover so young readers could more easily find me. But look inside any of my fiction and you will find Trudi Strain Trueit on the title pages.
I know my name isn’t flashy or romance-novel worthy. For that I would need to be Giselle Fairchild or Chandra St. Claire. But it is a reflection of where I came from and the ones who have loved me. It is my unique and glorious history. Looking back, I now see that the question I was really pondering about my name on my first book cover wasn't, who do I want to be but rather, who am I? And that's a much better question for a writer, or anyone, to answer, don't you think?
p.s. For the sake of brevity my website is www.truditrueit.com, but log on and notice what appears at the top of every web page.