How I Accidentally Got a Book Signed to Someone Who Doesn’t Exist

  There are times when having a pen name is a good thing, like when you’re writing novels or….. well….. um…..

Okay, there’s really no other time you should use a pen name. If you’re not noveling, don’t do it. Just use your parents-given Christian name.

I learned this lesson the hard way.

There’s a blog I love to read here on these internets called Reading, Writing, and the War of the Words. I like it because it’s geared towards aspiring writers and dedicated bloggers, with lots of contests, book reviews, and interviews with published authors. In this post, the blogger behind the madness, Genna Sarnak, interviewed Margo Candela, an author with four acclaimed novels to her name. She also included a signed giveaway of Candela’s most recent novel, Good-bye To All That.

I thought the author had some good thoughts on the writing process and publishing, and the book looked interesting, so I entered the contest. I didn’t take it too seriously– blogged about it (because it secured you extra chances to win, and I had nothing to blog about), put in my email, and used a pen name to enter. Skye McKay, after my dear Rodney from SGA. I thought it was pretty funny.

That was a month ago. Last week, I got an email. Subject line? Congrats! You’ve Won! I was, of course, immediately suspicious. Whenever my inbox tells me I’ve won something, it’s either a brand new iPad (just wire the small processing fee to a nondescript account in Malasia), a million dollars (after all, I was the 100,000,000 visitor to a website just created yesterday whose hit counter reads 32), or a trip to Australia (after I send them my email, social security number, address, cell numbers, and mother’s maiden name). But the sender, Genna Sardek, sounded vaguely familiar, plus it hadn’t been wired straight to spam, so I clicked it.

Lo and behold, peasants! The message informed me that I had won a signed copy of Good-bye To All That.

Well, when I say “me”, I mean that I got an email saying Skye McKay had won a personalized signed copy of the book. I wasn’t about to email Genna back saying “…. um….. yeah…. y’see…. could you just kinda let Margo know that Skye McKay doesn’t exist and…. yeah….. kthxbai?”. I mean, what idiot does that? What idiot enters a contest for book signed to their name with a fake name??

This idiot. Right here. Yeah. Go ahead and make your blonde jokes.

Anyway, I responded enthusiastically informing her that I, Skye McKay, would be delighted to recieve such an honor. I gave her my address and settled down to wait.

Last night, I got a package. Hand-addressed from a certain Margo Candela (squee! getting a book straight from the author!), to Skye McKay, with a book-sized lump inside. I tore the package open to inspect the cruel irony of what I had done to myself.

And, really, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Signed “Dear Skye– Happy reading! ~Margo Candela”. It could have been worse, like the humiliation of the last name of a fictional character who I fangirl over, or if I’d used the pen name “Archduke Fluffycheesecake Llamas of Doom”, which I might have done if it was a Friday night with too much chocolate milk.

Anyway, I read the book. The front page was a haunting sign of my idiocy, with the Sharpie message that was as good as a message engraved in stone:

“Next time, THINK, genius.”

Moral of this story? Don’t be an idiot like me. If something like this comes up, don’t use a fake name, even if you’re almost positive you won’t win.

Or, at the very least, leave “fluffy” out of the pseudonym.

But, hey, I got a mention of my blog on her’s, and an adorable “congrats” picture of a kitten- and my family and I got a good laugh out of it!

About Aloha

A teen writer and future world ruler. Llamas make me happy.
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20 Responses to How I Accidentally Got a Book Signed to Someone Who Doesn’t Exist

  1. Genna Sarnak says:

    Oh my gosh, Aloha, you made me laugh! You *totally* could have told me that you are in fact, not Skye McKay, and I would have had a good laugh with you and had Margo make the book out to YOU instead!

    Sorry about that, hun, maybe next time you’ll win something else and get a book signed to the real you! 🙂

    • Aloha says:

      XD It’s fine, Genna, really. We all had a huge laugh about it. I’m just so appreciative that I got the book straight from the author! That’s never happened before- but it was sweet to see her name on the return address and the cover of the book.

      Well, I’ll definitely keep up with your epic blog, and if another book signing contest comes up, I’ll use my real name 🙂

  2. Tigers Eyes says:

    You should’ve told her you were using a pen name. But oh well… the chances of winning were astronomical.
    Well, you did get a free book
    ; )

  3. haha! That is hilarious. Skye isn’t a bad name though. It’s a pretty name especially with the E on the end.

  4. annanm says:

    So you’re saying I shouldn’t enter contests under my alter ego, Jean Van DerWoot, or my other alias, Dr. Dorkasaur? That’s a shame; Dr. Dorkasaur really had things going for her…

    • Aloha says:

      XDXDXD You need to be a comedian, Anna, seriously.

      But go ahead; I’m sure it would actually be BETTER to have a book signed to Dr. Dorkasaur than your actual name =P

  5. Nia says:

    That’s hilarious. XD I entered a book contest under my pen name one time. Quite recently, actually. I didn’t win anything, however. 😛

  6. Mercy says:

    Wow, Aloha. Just wow. XD

  7. draagyn12 says:

    Wow. I just read this and was totally blown away. I mean, the chances of winning the book was one in many thousands or something like that. Actually, I really like the pen name….
    Awesome. And really good for a laugh.
    However, my first thought was, “Oh, poor Aloha. When one of her descendants finds this book they are going to be thinking ‘Who the heck was Skye McKay?'” ♥

  8. BushMaid says:

    Oh my goodness, that is so funny, Aloha! And I’m so sorry about that for you, but it’s so hilarious at the same time! 😀

  9. KathrineROID says:

    Hilarious, Miss McKay. 😉 I lol’ed. And my sis went berserk because she walked in at the same time I opened up the congrats kitten.

    I actually intend Kathrine Roid to be my official pen name, and so wouldn’t mind mail and letters addressed to Kathrine Roid. So far I have a participant thank you from a writing forum I’m on and a signed book. (Yes, I too recently won a book drawing online. And am I ever glad. I’ll have a review of A Star Curiously Singing up on my blog sometime soon. Wonderful book, but no hilarious story to tell, I’m afraid. 😀 Lucky you.)

    • KathrineROID says:

      I just realized I called you lucky. . . XD I meant lucky as in having neat stories to tell, not having a cool book autographed to Skye. . . heehee.

    • Aloha says:

      XD I’d love to read a book review! I don’t think I’ll be posting a review of Good-bye To All That, because it’s not exactly a book intended for my blog audience, which consists of mostly teenagers.

      Katherine Roid is a very pretty pen name. I’ll definitely be looking for that name on the shelves in a decade or so 🙂

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