Tell Me How You Want It, So That You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

The time has come for me to make an honest woman out of myself.  That’s right.  No more hiding behind a veil.

I joined Twitter March 18, 2009.  I did so as a lark.  Something to pass the time away when I was bored.  I enjoyed the news feeds and some of the celebrity sites.  It seemed nothing more than a place to tweet out what you were doing at that particular moment to your friends.  For a year and a half I followed around 125 tweeps and organizations and had followers numbering about 88. I thought that was a lot.  I would be elated when I gained a follower, and confused as to why when I lost even one.

Then one day it didn’t matter anymore.  The lettered fog of nonsensical tweets lifted. I found out there was more to news feeds and what my friends were having for lunch that day, when I stumbled across an author’s twitter account.  That made me take notice of what Twitter had to offer. I became more interactive. I found, followed, and continued to follow even more, authors.  In the meantime, the writing spark, the passion, reignited within me.  I discovered blogs full of writing advice and absorbed it all like a sponge, so thirsty was I to revisit the well of my imagination.  I pulled out my spiral notebooks from college that were full of short stories I had written and outlines for novels.  Publishing became a goal rather than a dream.

I got serious about Twitter so I replaced my original Twitter name of “VrginiaGal” with the more sassier, “VaChicklet”.

I tweeted to the authors I followed and some started tweeting me.  ME! A writer wannabe.  I didn’t even consider myself a writer at that point.  Then in June, 2011, one of them invited me to join Triberr. In case you don’t know, Triberr is a site to share your blog.  Hmmm, a blog.  I didn’t have one at the time and the concept of how to fashion one was way over my head but I accepted the invitation anyway. I read and watched what other tribemates did, sought the advice of friends I’d made on Twitter and on September 8, 2011, I wrote my first blog post.  Three weeks after that I formed my own tribe within Triberr and never looked back.

Fast forward to now. I am no longer a writer wannabe, I am a writer. In the not too distant future I will publish my first novel.  Of course, I’m not going to publish under the name of VaChicklet and I don’t want to publish under the name of Trish Gentry since Trish is actually a nickname. My full name is Gail Patricia Gentry but I have always gone by my middle name of Patricia.  Last year when I was contemplating what pen name I wanted to publish under, I googled Patricia Gentry and Trish Gentry. I never realized how many people with the same name as me there are out there.  Then it occurred to me to google Gail Gentry and, nope, not too many of those.  What really made my mind up, if I’m being painfully honest? Please don’t laugh, but in the midst of all the contemplating, I went to see a specialist doctor for the first time and, after introducing herself to me, she looked at my name on her chart, “Gail Gentry?” She smiled. “That sounds like a movie star’s name.”

Truly, I have no idea where that came from.  I do, however, listen to things like that.  If that name grabbed her attention, maybe it would others.  My mind was made up right then and there to publish under the name of Gail Gentry.

I’ve already had a few people that read my blog and seen a piece penned by Gail Gentry, ask me if I am related to her. So I changed the name on my blog header from Trish Gentry to Gail (Trish) Gentry.  Now the time has come to make an honest woman of me on Twitter as well.

It’s going to be an adjustment because I’ve never gone by the name of Gail in my daily life and I really don’t want to be called that now but it’s more important that there not be any confusion that Gail and Trish are one and the same person when I publish.  I will always be Trish to my friends.  I’m not sure why my family chose to call me by my middle name rather than my first.  All throughout my life my family and friends have called me either Patricia, Trish, Trisha, or even Patrice, but never Gail.

Before I make the change, I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE! What Twitter name do you think would be best to use:  Gail_Gentry; GailGentry; Gail_Trish_Gentry; or some other variation? One of the concerns I have is, will all my followers recognize me after I change my Twitter name.  I’m not going to change my profile pic – not yet – to keep some continuity, hopefully, of the account.  I plan on doing a massive shout-out when I switch to hopefully ease any confusion that it’s still me, Trish.

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13 Responses to Tell Me How You Want It, So That You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

  1. Hi Tris, I ‘m sorry, I mean Gail Gentry. Sorry, trying to be funny. Different name, same talented author and I really like the name Gail Gentry. It flows. I had not though about googling my name to see what comes up. It should be a good sign that when I did, the whole first page were links to my blog, so I think I have a good name, too. Look forward to getting to know Gail.

  2. Hi Trish,

    Whatever name you finally choose, I would advise you not to use underscores. When the address is picked up as a URL or email address and hyperlinks, it automatically underlines and an underscore can then be difficult to detect. That risks frustration for a user who wants to manually copy the link.

    I like your post by the way, your path through Twitter, blogging and Triberr is quite similar to my own entry to social media. I wouldn’t have bothered but for a platform for my writing.

    Good luck with your book.

  3. jody winter says:

    well as ur bff i will always call u trisha. but gail gentry is really a stand out name! love it! like i love you!

  4. I agree with Ken about the underscore. My advice would be to keep “Trish” in the handle because you have established such a wonderful rapport with so many using that name (…that and some of us are easily confused…LOL). Whatever you choose, you have already won me over with your brilliant writing! 🙂

    • Belinda, thank you so much for commenting. I’m convinced about not having an underscore in the name. Still undecided, though, on how I’m going to handle the name itself. I really appreciate your kind words 🙂

  5. Cheryl Fassett says:

    Hi Trish!! I always enjoy your blog posts so I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Stop by my blog to see what it’s all about!

  6. I found your blog because you are so very quick at picking up when you and I are published in various newspapers online. So I came to see who this kindly soul is.
    Re your Twitter name, can you not be GailTrishGentry? Or Just GailGentry? If you announce well in advance it will be ok. I’ve seen many people with large numbers of followers change with no problems. Yes keeping the same avatar would help. Also
    I am wondering why you have ” ” at each end ofTrish on your blog header and not ‘Trish’?
    I wonder if Gail (Trish) Gentry might look even better? Or Gail Gentry, my friends call me Trish…
    I hope I am not over stepping.

    • No overstepping here, Jane. Thanks for the advice on ” vs. ‘ – I’ll take care of that 🙂 A recent check on Twitter shows that the name Gail Gentry has already been taken – by someone with zero tweets. {ugh} So my options have gotten smaller. I’m trying to keep it all in line with branding the name. And thanks for giving me insight on your experience with other twitter users when changing their name. That made me feel much better!

  7. Marlene Wynn says:

    Hi Trish. I’m like you. My full name is Mary Marlene Wynn, but my family and friends have always just called me Marlene. The only time I’m called Mary is at places like the bank or the doctor! I’m in the pre-stages of self publishing my debut novel, and I’m pretty sure I’ll just stick with Marlene Wynn. It’s what I know and easier to respond to! :o)

    Have you considered Gail P. Gentry? Or Gail T. Gentry? Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be fabulous! And don’t worry about your followers. If they don’t come with you over something as simple as you “reinventing” your name, then you probably didn’t want them in the first place.

    Good luck to you in this! Marlene Wynn.

  8. SS Bazinet says:

    Gail Gentry is catchy, easy to remember, and has star quality written all over it! It’s a great name for an author.

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