RWA activities and literary agency profile mixed in with genealogy sites about someone's great-grandfather Lark Howard born in 1896. Apparently Lark is more common as a male name than female. Who knew? It wasn't until page 10 that my day job company profile appeared which was much further on than I'd expected.
I then went to Google images which turned out to be more interesting. Of the first couple dozen, 9 were actually me. Several other photos I'd posted on this blog (travel pics, Kay, Sarah, Dee) and one was Pat O'Dea Rosen. A Lark Howard who looks like George Carlin on a really bad day was busted in Arizona on several occasions and multiple mugshots of him popped up (he was wearing different clothes so I know there were several arrests).
All this Googling got me thinking about the multiple lives so many writers have. Those of us lucky enough to write full-time may write under a pen name to suit out genre. Others have more than one name for other reasons. Historical writer Eloisa James is a Shakespeare professor named Mary Bly who for years hid her author identity from her students. A wonderful paranormal author friend is an emergency room doctor who took a pen name because she shares her real name with a porn star (not a good thing when readers are looking for your website). A few months back an English teacher was outted in Pennsylvania as the author of erotic romances under a pen name, outraging some parents who called for her dismissal while students defended her. Those of us who have two professional identities under the same name can find ourselves facing some awkward questions when those online identities intersect unexpectedly.
I know a lot of people are horrified to learn how much information is online about them. Those of us who use the internet to promote ourselves as writers are often more aware of what we're putting out there and control the content more deliberately than casual social media users. Still, I can't help but wonder what my clients might think if they search my name in the vast cyber data-dump and find this blog or my profile as a Prospect Agency author.
What's the funniest, most surprising or most shocking item you've ever turned up when you Googled yourself?