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Since it’s two days off for the maid this weekend, I thought I’d put up what would have been Monday’s post so you’ll have something to read as you ease yourself into the week with your first cup of coffee.

I quite like my name. It’s OK. I’ve also lived with it for 60 years, so I’m rather attached to it.

However, I have a problem. I’m about halfway through my detective novel, and my name doesn’t sound right for a writer of a kickass story. It sounds a bit weedy. Indeed, I am a bit weedy. I can’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag.

The main characters have good names. There’s Blain. Sounds like a mean hombre, no? The Man With No First Name. Very Eastwood. There’s Lou Dubois. A nice mix of tough talking kickass and Southern belle charm. Her partner, Suki Banderanaike. She and Lou teach kick boxing and other martial arts. Good hardass names.

There’s a bit of a mismatch here between my characters and me. A credibility gap is opening wider and wider as I get further into the story. So I need a nom de plume, something with a bit more of a hard edge. The problem is that a lot of the good ones are already out there.

Stieg Larsson. That’s a tough sounding name. You imagine he would have been a good man to have on your side when the pub brawl broke out. Probably good with a broken bottle.

Sven Hassel. I know he doesn’t write detective novels, but he writes epics about WWII, and he has a rock hard name. Sven Hassel. You wouldn’t want to spill his pint, now would you?

Lee Child, inventor of the überkickass Jack Reacher. Hard name, even if he did change it, wisely, from Jim Grant, who sounds like everybody’s favourite uncle, or a character in Neighbours.

As a bit of an aside, Zodiac Mindwarp, the heavy metal frontman for the Love Reaction. Real name Mark Manning, which is nowhere near as rock and roll.

Where was I? Clive Cussler. That’s not bad, though there’s a bit of a ? about the name Clive. Still sounds like a hardnut. Maybe it’s the sort of swordplay sound about the surname Cussler.

With so many of the good names gone, I’m going to have to invent one, and this has been preying on what passes for my mind for some time. It’s easy to be a bit silly here. I don’t think anyone’s going to believe Bruce Nailgun. Scott Rivet is out for the same reason. Mike Hammer has already been done, of course.

My current favoured pseudonym is Brad Gritstone. That’s a real weedgie of a name, isn’t it? It’s got a lot going for it. Brad’s manly, and Gritstone just sounds hard. Of course it lacks any Nordic baresarker connotation. How does Axel Gunnarsson sound? I think it’s got legs.

Maybe Germanic. Max Schmidt. Or Italian. Guido Accetta. That works.

I’m still leaning towards Brad Gritstone. Maybe a poll is in order. Any takers?