Name Karma


art by Megan MacGregor


This is a rather peculiar issue that has been following me around for most of my life. Tonight, it impacted my ability to connect my Facebook page to a Facebook icon on our  blog and I’m clueless about how to correct this.

My name at birth was Patricia Janeshutz. I never liked that first name and became the shorter version – Trish. That felt right. My last name was another problem – few people could pronounce it, much less spell it. My first novel was published in 1984 as Trish Janeshutz. By my third novel, I was married and happy to become a MacGregor. Simple. The only possible misspelling with that name was the Mc rather than the Mac. So when my editor asked me to change my name to initials and a last name people could spell and pronounce, I became TJ MacGregor.

At some point during my tenure with Ballantine, I wrote three books located on the fictional island of Tango Key, and became Alison Drake. I wrote non-fiction as Trish MacGregor. I also did some ghostwriting – what’s one more name, right? – and also kept using the TJ MacGregor name for my other fiction.

For IRS purposes, our accountant suggested using my full name: Patricia Janeshutz MacGregor.

In 2010, TOR/Forge Books published Esperanza under Trish J MacGregor. Ghost Key and Apparition followed under that name.

You can see where this is going, right? Straight into the Black Hole of Names. According to Facebook, my user name is

But when I enter that name anywhere, I receive an error message that the link is broken or the page has been removed. The only way the Facebook icon works is if my Facebook page is open. I’ve scoured the Facebook forums – and a lot of other people have had this same problem- but I haven’t seen any answers. Does anyone have suggestions on how to correct this, short of my becoming someone else??

If the Facebook link works for you, please let me know. And if it doesn’t, do you have any suggestions??







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10 Responses to Name Karma

  1. c.j. says:

    Nope. Not in my bins, either. Cyberspace got hungry, I guess, and ate my comments. I’ll try to write them again a little later. Don’t you just HATE it when this computer glitch stuff happens!!!!!

  2. c.j. says:

    I’ll check my bins, too. I had finished the comments, and when I clicked the box to send it, a page flipped on the screen telling me “your page has been interrupted’. GGGgggrrrrrr!

  3. c.j. says:

    I am frustrated beyond belief. I just wrote a response, a lengthy one, granted, and when I clicked the key to add it, it vanished. I can’t write it again. Maybe it’s somewhere in the blogosphere????

  4. Jane Clifford says:

    Sorry I don’t have an answer but wd like to share this. My name of Clifford is the name of an ex husband from 40 years ago, now dead. I don’t like my birth name of Venables & for some years now want to change my name. Change your name change your destiny apparently.
    I even consulted a numerologist about a name change and he suggested 7 other names I wasn’t keen on. He said if I kept the name Clifford somethings wd always be hidden from me & I would develop heart trouble in my 60s, as you know just had a heart attack aged 64!
    Apparently every letter in the name counts and has to sit well with all the other letters! He advised I sign my name Jane G ( new name) because the G helps bring money in! He did a good reading on my personality and my life based on the names I have. Meanwhile not changed my name for the new name to bring in desired results it has to be legally changed on all documents. Meanwhile I remain Jane Clifford.

  5. For me, it’s a really simple answer. It’s called a DBA – Doing Business As – that is filed with the state where you live. The DBA is a challenge for many who work in the creative fields and how it relates to the business of being a professional who follows the rules for being a business in the USA.
    In “publishing world” as I’ve observed it through a few decades as a corporate business professional, with a novelist hobby, name changes were fresh starts in the business of publishing. The “author-entrepreneur” is still a developing concept and no one is sure how to make it a marketing standard. When it comes to marketing, there is no standard but I could write a book on that….
    Anywho… There’s something concrete about a creative artist choosing a DBA – a name from which all creative endeavors in the future will flow, and yet be a valid platform to funnel all creative endeavors into a primary message and persona. Creative people have a tough time with the simplicity of being a business, because business is for profit.
    Creatives have a personal issue with being a profitable business. I’m not sure why. I think there’s some type of starving artist expectation in their psyche…
    I think that choosing a DBA and funneling all their creative endeavors through that single identity is a good thing for those who need the freedom create – it’s a way to ground creativity into a practical way so all those issues of identity can go away.

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