(Left: The last known photograph of Steve Suphan. Right: The first published photograph of Steve’s re-birth as Stephen Cleary)
Perhaps not quite, but with a tear in my eye, it has been decided due to complete confusion – to change my name to Stephen Cleary.
After the result of very little deliberation, it was realized that having two names was a complete headache to other folk – and moreover, not exactly a very strategical move on my part. Once upon a time on the spur of the moment, I completely made up the name Steve Suphan (Suphan as in the province I live, Suphanburi) and went on to use that name at various websites and in particular…. thai-blogs. So, what happened? Well, almost a year ago now, I got the job at The Nation newspaper and the Editorial Boss sent me a mail specifying that it was company policy to use ones real name – and so Steve Suphan immediately got the boot there.
Another reason for the change is my first book which ought hopefully to hit the shelves in a few months. It is simply no good, as a writer, to have two names when one is already more than enough. Of course, I have to try and sell the friggin thing and so there is nothing more important than a potential buyer recognizing the author’s name.
The person to get me going in regards to the name-change was no other than Richard Barrow himself who has co-incidentally received e-mails from readers at The Nation asking him to forward on mail to Stephen Cleary. Yeah, I mean it isn’t too clever like, when you have a link from a page like that to here and have a different name.
I doubt you noticed, but just yesterday evening my name changed from Steve Suphan to Steve Cleary to Stephen Cleary in the space of an hour. Richard thought I wanted to use ‘Steve’ but I decided against it and believed it wise to use the posher sounding ‘Stephen’. I mean how many great writers have you heard of with a name like ‘Steve’? Compare that however, to how many ‘Steve’ football hooligans and petty criminals there have been. It’s a terrible thing really, but in the field of writing and the what-not, real names simply read better than shortened ones. Take Andy, that’s a nice name like, but for the bookstore/blog browser Andrew reads slightly more intelligent. Then we have Steward, who may be know to his boozing buddies as Stu – Michael as Mick, Jonathon as Joe, Richard as Dick, Harold as Harry or Walter as Wally.
In the meantime however, TWFKASS (The writer formerly known as Steve Suphan) is still known to friends, family and foe as simply Steve.
A name-change or not, I do hope you continue reading. Thanks.