Fans Like You Are Why They Have Pen Names

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2020

(A customer approaches me holding a copy of a popular author’s latest book.)

Customer: “So, [Author] is a pen name, right? Where can I find books under her real name?”

Me: “No, ma’am, that is [Author]’s true name, although she does write under several pen names. Those would be [list of several alternate names].”

Customer: “No, no, no! Not those, her real name! It’s right here in the back of the book, real small. See?” 

(She turns the book around so I can see the inside of the back cover, pointing at the photo of the author.) 

Me: “I assure you, I’ve met [Author]. She’s a lovely person and her name really is [Author].”

(That’s when I realize the customer is pointing at the tiny printing under the photo.) 

Me: “Ma’am, that’s the name of the photographer who took the picture.”

Customer: *stomping away angrily* “No, you’re just being stupid! I’m going to the library! They’ll know that’s her real name and get me her other books!”

(My sympathies to the librarian.)

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