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Some of you, dear readers, know that my name is Mary Tod. Some of you know that I plan to self-publish one of my novels in the next few months. Therefore, the question becomes under what name should I publish.

Let me tell you what happens to me whenever I introduce myself to someone in the US. He or she says some variation of “Did you know that Lincoln’s wife was Mary Todd?” Pay attention to two aspects: (1) a very famous person in US history and (2) she clearly spelled her name incorrectly: Mary Todd should be Mary Tod–shouldn’t it?

Let me tell you what happens when you Google my name. (I hasten to add that I rarely do this.) That wonderful search engine assumes I’ve spelled my own name incorrectly and instead finds millions of references to Mary Todd Lincoln, 94 million as of today.

So, what’s a writer to do?

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to write as M.K. Tod. Sharon Kay Penman can get away with Kay as her second name, but Mary K. Tod merely reminds people of cosmetics. And in case you think I should revert to my maiden name, I can’t do that either. My wonderful sister-in-law has taken it over.

So there you have it. M.K. Tod, writer of historical fiction. I rather like it. What do you think?