What's in a Name?

Well, quite a lot really. In about a week's time, I'll be heading north to Kiltarlity, by way of Inverness, and thence to beautiful Moniack Mhor, the Arvon Foundation's Scottish centre, where with David Armstrong I'll be tutoring a course on fiction writing. Browsing the Arvon website tonight (why didn't I do it sooner, I ask myself?) I realised that they have spelled my name wrong. For some unaccountable reason, I have become Czerkawask. Now I answer to most variations on Czerkawska.... I mean I've lived with the name all these years, and even when I got married, I elected to keep my own name. So I have encountered all possible spellings and pronunciations, and believe me, some of them have been very odd indeed. The trouble started when I first went to school. Everyone else was learning to spell names like Brown and Smith and Jones. There I was, struggling with Czerkawska and wondering why it seemed to fill the whole line....
But I've never been called Czerkawask before.
It didn't used to matter very much. But now, when people type some variant of my name into their PCs looking for - how can I put this? - my books or plays which they may possibly want to buy... what will they get? Not much, that's what.
Catherine Czerkawska Czerkawska Czerkawska. That's what Amazon know me as. It's what Google knows me as, as well. There. That might help.

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