Names is for Tombstones

There’s been a lot of talk lately about mid-list writers adopting other names to get their books sold and keep their careers going. Author Tim Cockey has enjoyed some success with his HEARSE series of light-hearted mysteries — now he’s launching a new series under the name "Richard Hawke." He recently sent Bill Peschel an email touting his "debut":

I get this sorta-spam e-mail today with the subject line of YOU LOVE
MYSTERIES! The name "Richard Hawke" sounds fishy, but there wasn’t an
attachment and it didn’t look like it wanted to lengthen my penis, so I
opened it.

I prefer emails that will lengthen my penis, but that’s another story. Anyway, the spam went something like this:

Okay, I happen to know that you’re a reader and that you like mysteries
and/or thrillers. Don’t ask me how I know this, I just do. It’s my job
to sniff out folks like you.

So here’s the question: In the glutted world of mysteries and
thrillers, do we really need yet another new series to take up space in
our To-Be-Read pile? Well, the answer is yes, but only if it’s any good.

I’ve got one for you. And since it really is such a glutted world of
too many books, I thought it’d be wise for me to get to you directly
and let you know about it.

It didn’t lengthen Bill’s penis, but it did get him curious about the author. Cockey, as Hawke, has already won raves from PW and Kirkus for his new book. Makes you wonder why he bothered using another name…

10 thoughts on “Names is for Tombstones”

  1. Don Westlake wrote a great book about mid-list writers changing names and writing anew – called THE HOOK, I think – great read if you haven’t read it –

  2. Interesting. I got the same e-mail and I wasn’t wild about it either, but I’m a book reviewer and the publisher was Random House, so I told him to send a copy to either me or my book review editor and I’ll take a look at it. I like Tim’s books pretty well, so we’ll see how it goes.

  3. “Makes you wonder why he bothered using another name”
    I’m tempted to invoke Donald Westlake’s THE HOOK and the long monologue about what the computer says…

  4. Hmmm, I got one too. I don’t hustle other writers, and I don’t like it when it happens to me. So where did he get all of our e-mail addresses? Off the MWA directory? Isn’t that called ‘harvesting’? But you gotta admit, he’s obviously making an impression.

  5. Rob, I agree with you. The e-mail put me off at first, until I saw the Random House note. That took some of the sting out of it.
    In fact, after checking him out, I wonder if he shouldn’t have cut his letter in half and included at the top the blurb from Connelly and noted the starred review from Kirkus.
    And how else can legitimately published writers advertise their books?


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