The other day I got a query about a novel from Marie. I knew it was from her because that's the name that was displayed in my email folder. And that was the name that accompanied the email address at the top of the letter.
As I read the query, I envisioned how this female writer would handle the male POV character she described, especially considering he was a soldier during wartime.
Then I got to the closing paragraphs--and discovered the person writing me was actually a retired police office named Richard who lived with his wife, Marie.
I had to recast my impression of everything I had read in the letter. Especially my view of the author's professionalism.
How hard is it to get your own free email account through Yahoo! or G-mail? Yes, my wife and I share several email accounts—but not the ones I use professionally.
Meanwhile I've added to my list of writing pet peeves. One is a dramatic scene that, without warning, turns out to be only a dream. My new pet peeve is wanna-be writers who identify themselves one way with their email account—then pull a switcheroo.
Please, remember what you learned in kindergarten: Put your name—your own name—on the top of your paper.