Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest



This awesome blogfest – which is designed as a cool opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to our ever-expanding circles of fun-fluence -- is the creation of Stephen Tremp, C.M. Brown, Elise Fallson, and Mark Koopman.   You can find the link with the names of everyone participating right HEREMy contribution was originally posted during the 2012 A-Z Challenge, but it fits the bill here better.  Hope you enjoy it.

My given name is Donald Lee Hammons, but the only person that ever called me Donald (other than teachers reading from the 1st day enrollment roster – which I quickly corrected) was my mother when I had done something to draw her ire.  Most of the world knows me simply as Don.  My family and a few friends call me Donnie.  I secretly toyed with the idea of going by my middle name for awhile because I really don’t like my name.  It’s so…vanilla!  There were numerous nick-names throughout my high school and college years, but once you get to a certain age nick-names kind of fall by the wayside.  Let’s face it; a fifty year old “Scooter” just seems kind of desperate.

But there is only one group of people, and one group alone, that know me by DL.  That’s anybody in the writing community.  Wanna know why?  One of my early short stories I seriously considered sending to contests was written from a female POV.  As it made the rounds through my critique partners I received a lot of comments expressing confusion/surprise about the main character because they naturally expected it to be male.  That got me thinking about the possible unconscious bias from contest judges towards male writers with female characters.  That’s when I decided to neuter myself and go with DL.  No more gender-related predisposition. 

A secondary benefit is that it helps me keep my writing life and everything else separate.  DL has his own email.  Anything writing related (Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, Forums, Subscriptions, etc) is setup under DL.  It’s not technically a pen name, but it’s the next best thing.

Donald was born in 1956, has a handful of friends and a family of five.

DL was born in 2009, has 1062 followers and a family that expands every day. J

Pleased to meet you!

65 comments

  1. Pleased to meet you, I live in Bournemouth UK which is on the South coast. I write poetry....or should I say try to write poetry.Also I enjoy music.
    Have a lovely day and plenty of comments.

    Yvonne.

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  2. It's been great knowing you in the blogosphere, Scooter- errr, DL! :)

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  3. Loved getting to know you more. That's a great reason for going with initials. I hadn't even thought of that benefit. It's nice to be part of such a large family.

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  4. Pleased to meet you, whoever you are! I decided to use my own name for my fiction in the hope that it would draw in some of my nonfiction readers. Not sure if it has much, it's hard to measure such things! People really used to call you "Scooter"? How very Fifties!

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  5. Thanks for sharing, DL! Your 'gender-neutral' point really makes me think.Maybe I should go by my first & second initials + surname. And yet my first letters would be PW, or TW, which I just dunno about... lol. I am quite fond of my triple initials though - TWF. I think I'm fond of it for sentimental reasons though, as it's how my dad refers to me. ;)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your world with us Dona ... errr ... Dl! And thanks for participating in Re-Introduce Myself!

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  7. Your last two lines say so much more than the words made to make them.
    I went to school with a "scooter" so people are still using that nickname. I loved the line "It's so vanilla" lol. You know - vanilla is a very good flavor.

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  8. My full name is Kristina. My parents never used that name though, even when mad at me. Not sure why they bothered to christen me that if they weren't ever going to use it.

    You know, it's never hurt Nicolas Sparks by using his first name, and he writes in a female pov. At least I think he does. I've only read SAFE HAVEN. But I do understand you rationale. It's similar to why female authors of kids books in the male pov use initials instead of their last name. Some guys won't read books written by females. Fortunately my son doesn't fall in that category. He only cares if it's written in the male pov. :)

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  9. My father's name is Donald, too. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone call him by that name, though. He's usually 'Don', but Donnie to those older aunts and uncles, even some of his cousins. Funny how those childhood names stick. :) Loved getting to know you better!

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  10. That's a great way to keep your 'selves' separate - I like having my separate identities too :)

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  11. So great to re-meet you DL, I mean Don! May I call you Don now? :D And that's an excellent reason to go with initials as an author, JK Rowling did, as many others. Funny how biased people can be on the subject.

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  12. I know someone named Lee Hammons - and truthfully I don't think the best of him, so I think it's good you didn't go by that. Isn't it weird how our perceptions change things? (like why you went with DL over Don). We can't help it sometimes!

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  13. A DL by any other name would still be a kick-ass writer and friend to me!

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  14. I vaguely knew your name was Don, but I really think of you as DL. It's hard to think of you any other way!

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  15. Nice to meet you again, too, DL :)

    And I can relate to the name. I never liked my name even tho it isn't vanilla.

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  16. Really LIKED the last paragraph DL.... Nicely said.

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  17. DL - I happen to love your short name. If I knew you personally I would have your name down to just the letter 'D'. That's what I call my son. :)
    Nice to re-meet you!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Heather
    H

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  18. Hey, DL!

    Nice to meet you! I'm blown away by any guy/girl who takes on the task of writing in the opposite sex's POV! Anybody who thinks that's strange has a problem because I believe it takes boatloads of talent to pull off, so I applaud you. I'm glad I stopped by. You're an interesting fellow. :)

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  19. I don't know. I think Scooter has a nice ring to it for a man at any age. I hated my name, too until I got older. You self neuterization (i know, not a word) is quite a sacrifice for your art. I applaud you. Nice to re-meet you, Donnie.

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  20. No, not neutered!!!
    At least your full name is reasonably short. I have nine syllables in mine,

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  21. Nice re-intro. Sorry about the neutering, but probably a good idea. I like to write from a male POV and never thought before about the conscious or unconscious bias possibility. I'll have to think on that one.

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  22. I'm learning a lot of new things with this blogfest. It's nice to be a part of the DL family!

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  23. Nice to re-meet you. I think "DL" is cool!

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  24. You cracked me up about the 50 year old Scooter LOL. Nice to meet you again! :)

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  25. Love the explanation of the name. You'll always be DL to us! :)

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  26. Nice to re-meet you DL.
    I like the way you've separated your two identities and the explanation of your "double-birth".

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  27. Great way to keep your two lives apart. I think you're right about the gender assumption thing with writers.

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  28. Very nice to re-meet you. We have something in common. In the rest of my world I'm Linda, Lin, Mom, or Nana. Only in my writing world am I LD. I also thought Linda was too "vanilla" and that the gender ambiguity might work to my advantage but the deciding factor was when I tried to register the domain LindaMasterson.com and found it was already in use - by another author.

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  29. I also opted to use my first and middle initials in the writing community. My reason had to do with keeping my writing life separate from my work life. Nice to learn a few new facts about you.

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  30. Haha! Pleased to meet you too, DL!

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  31. I like DL! I know, I should call you Don, but that's kind of how I feel like I know you. My great writer-friend DL. :D

    But you know what's funny? My first name is Dana. It's ALMOST like we have the same name! :D

    Dana Leigh
    Donald Lee

    Yeah??? :D

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  32. It was so nice to learn a little more about you :)

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  33. Awesome, DL! Always nice to learn more about you. :)

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  34. This 're-introduction' definitely made me smile. :) It can be easier to have two different names sometimes. When I was in high school, half my friends - the drama kids- knew me as Ellie (my middle name) and the other half - marching band - knew me as Beth. It actually made life easier a lot of the time, which seems counter intuitive. Anyway, you have a better reason for two names than I had, but it's very cool how you made that decision. :) Nice to meet you, DL!

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  35. How's it going, DONALD!!! I love this blogfest - you find out the darndest things about people!!!

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  36. Lovely (to meet both of you)!

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  37. Interesting story about the name. In my last two books, female characters which were initially secondary ended up taking over the whole show. Maybe that reflects the fact they actually do rule the world!

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  38. I am interested in the bias re POV you bring up. I write a lot from the male POV..don't know why...just comes out, and I'm a girly girl.Great to be reintroduced.

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  39. Hi, D.L.,
    The same reason you chose to use DL in your writing is why I use JL. My first novel was about drugs and guns and romance and so I thought it'd sell easier if I used a name that wasn't readily identifiable as female.

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  40. I'm pretty sure you'd still get blog visitors if your pen name was Scooter Hammons. =)

    Thanks for unraveling the mystery behind your initials.

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  41. Nice to meet you again, and get to know the meaning behind the initials!

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  42. Fun facts about your name. I have one of those names where different groups call me by a different variation of my name. Rebecca, Becca, Becki, Bec....you get the point. Anyway- what a cool blogfest. I've enjoyed everyone's posts today.

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  43. Nice to re-meet you! That is interesting--I feel like readers always expect me to write from a female PoV too... so I try to specify right away in the story if it is a guy's.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  44. Hi nice to meet you. My name's Jessica. You look kind of familiar, but I'm not sure. Do we know each other? ;)

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  45. Following in preparation for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April. My Dad's name was Donald, but very few people called him that. He was a "Don" too. Donald is also one of my eldest son's middle names.

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  46. That's not the first time I've heard that particular bias. Initials seem like a good way to go. Nice to meet both of you!

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  47. Hey there, DL! Nice to be reintroduced and reconnected. I lost track of a lot people when I switched from Blogger to WordPress, so it's good to see you again. Good point re: the gender bias when you're writing in a genre that tends to be written by a specific gender. Hope it's made a difference!

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  48. Very nice to meet you DL! I'm Mel (a female) and I write as M. L. Chesley for partly the same reason. I was told early on in life if you are going to do a resume, it'd be optimal to use your initials so they couldn't be biased when calling you for an interview and sort of stuck into other parts of my life. I'm participating in this blogfest and hope you'll drop by. Have a good one! www.caledonialass.blogspot.com

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  49. that gender issue reminded me of that 80's movie i use to watch all the time, you know, the one where the girl dresses like a guy for a newspaper article? i can't remember the name...

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  50. I've noticed other authors using their initials to be gender neutral to attract readers.

    I love this blogfest because I'm learning more about my long-time followers.

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  51. Please to re-meet you! I love "DL" - it so works. Have an awesome week!

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  52. Likewise, Scooter! lol. Couldn't resist. I like the idea of keeping the writer life separate. Intriguing. I've actually always gone by PK my entire life, and prolly should've clarified that but oh well. Initials allow that anonymity that can be very comforting, except, I find myself having to explain my name to everyone I meet who isn't in the writing world. lol

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  53. Nice to remeet you, Don. I used my initial to come off as gender neutral on first glance, too. My nickname was Gremlin in college. You can use that if you want to. :)

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  54. That's a great introduction. I had the same problem last year when I handed a creative writing assignment in; my tutor was confused as I'd written from a male perspective and he assumed it would be female.

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  55. It's fun to get to know more about you! I can definitely see the wisdom in having a "gender neutral" writing name. And in having a name specifically associated with your writing!

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  56. The "DL" works. IT certainly sounds more "writer-like".

    Great to "meet" you!

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side.
    http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/

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  57. Oh, I know THAT! I mean I have an online/writing persona partially to avoid my very white bread name (Tami) and the various nicknames I am too old for... I like the gender ambiguous thing, too... and... Hart Johnson is STILL my real name (just with my first lopped)

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  58. I think I have met you before. What do you think of Scandinavian thrillers? Do you read many other authors to get a feel of what is being published these days? But I do like the "DL" it sounds literary.

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  59. Great intro, Don. Too bad you can't claim your blog family on income tax, eh? Nice to re-meetcha.

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  60. Hm, I suppose I should stop calling you "Don" then :) I think its cool you created this whole personae around your real name. Sad that some judges would be biased that way.

    I have very much enjoyed being one of your blog friends DL, and I look forward to reading more of your writing, blog posts and creative events.

    Stay cool Dude.

    .......dhole

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  61. Nice to meet you! I did this one too, and I am signed up now for A to Z. Thanks for being one of the hosts. I missed last year as we were traveling around the world.

    Rhonda at Laugh Quotes
    Family Travel-Humor-Randomness

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  62. It's nice to get to know more about you! I'm signed up for the A to Z. The list is growing fast!

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  63. It's great to meet you DL. What a name history! I'm generally known by my middle name (LaRonda) but now with writing, I'm trying to be known by my full name, and so I have to get used to being called Nancy, a name I'd threaten to beat my friends and family up for calling me! Oh well.

    Thanks for co-hosting this wonderful mega-blog hop. I am so looking forward to it.

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  64. I'm sorely tempted to call you Scooter, but I'll resist. I like your pen name history!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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