As a kid I hated my name. I was surrounded by Jennifers, Katherines and Stephanies. I longed to have the ability to change my name to fit my mood and my ever evolving self concept. Jennifer’s can be Jen, Jenny, or Jenna. Katherine’s can be Kathy, Kate, Katie or even the exotic- Kat. Even my best friend Laura, went by La. People often got my name wrong, calling me Elaine, Irene or Ellen.
If your name is Eileen there aren’t a lot of options. I toyed with Neelie, which is Eileen backwards, but it never stuck. I wanted to define myself, to create a moniker that fit my idealized self. I felt quite certain that if I had a better name, a more exciting name, then I would be better and more exciting too. I hoped someone would give me a great nickname, but this also never happened.
I’m not sure when it changed, or even why, but somewhere along the way I started to like the name Eileen. There aren’t very many of us. Eileen’s are a rare item. Unless you are in Ireland in which case, there are more Eileen’s than sheep. I spent my entire vacation in Ireland thinking people were trying to talk to me.
After I sold my book I was asked if I wanted to use my own name or a pen name. This was it. I could pick any name I wanted. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t want to be anyone else.
For the record? My porn name (pet/first street): Silly Starwood.
Did you like your name growing up?