Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That other guy

My mother set out to give me the most common name she could think of. Well, she succeeded. For some reason, she thought a "popular" name was the way to go. She caused me considerable grief over the years. If only she'd named me Jedediah or Wilbur.  In high school, there was another David Riley. I found out about it on my first day as a freshman when I discovered I was in all remedial classes. I knew I got stupider over the summer from junior high, but that was ridiculous. I even went to the wrong counselor for all four years. That wasn't discovered until late in my senior year.

Then I started writing. I'm constantly mistaken for a David Riley in England. I've been asked to autograph his books at cons. Last year, the guy editing the Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! book actually sent me a contract to reprint one of his stories. I should've just signed it and cashed the check. But, I wrote and explained the situation. Anyway, he sent me a free copy of the book for being a good sport about it.

Why don't I use a pen name? I should have, but I'm now established as David B. Riley. Becoming Wilbur Riley would cause more problems than it would solve. I'm actually starting to get name recognition as me.

This came up again as I recently decided to join the HWA.  Naturally, the HWA already has the British guy and, apparently, another David as well. So, there was a little clarification needed there. But they seem to be able to cope with it.

Maybe I'll write a story as Fred Riley.

1 comment:

  1. Hw about D.B. Riley, like D.B. Cooper. You can tell people that's how you afford to spend your days writing fiction.