Saturday, May 3, 2014

Today I'm thrilled to have a guest blog from author Susanne Matthews, or whatever her name is (you'll
understand this when you read her blog!). 

Welcome, Susanne!

About the author: Susanne Matthews grew up as an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. A retired educator, she now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Susanne lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband. She has three adult children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.

What’s In A Name?

When I wrote, Just For The Weekend, I wanted to make it harder for the characters to find one another after the weekend was over. The old “What happens in Vegas…” idea influenced that, but I needed a conflict that would keep the hero/heroine apart for a couple more chapters. I’d done a lot of research on sci-fi conventions and was surprised to learn some of the things I did. Women have been sexually harassed and raped, and it’s a growing problem. I also learned that people frequently use false names in Vegas. So, I chose to let my heroine use a pseudonym—not completely false, but similar and yet different from her own. She needed to answer to it, right? Cleopatra James, became Cleo Jones. You don’t want to confuse the reader by having too many names for the same character. It never occurred to me how such a little thing could blossom into an enormous real-life boondoggle.

In Canada, we have an extremely complex health care system, one that enables all Canadians full access to whatever medical services they might need, without having to pay an arm and a leg. We pay for it in our taxes, and while we might gripe about wait times and such, the bottom line is we are so grateful it’s there when we need it.

Until a few years ago, the province of Ontario had a red and white card with your name on it and your OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) number on it. Because hospital and medical care were being illegally obtained using fraudulent cards, the provincial government moved to issue new photo identification cards. My name came up last month.

I got the letter in the mail telling me to present myself, with the three requested pieces of identification to have my card converted. Bam! What a surprise I got. The long and the short of it is, I don’t know my own name. Well, all my life, I’ve used Susanne, or some variation of it, as my name. When I looked at my wonderful pieces of ID, my name was different on each one. My Ontario birth certificate had my full name, including my maiden name, old health card had the name I use, and  my driver's license and ownership had my current name preceded by the initials of what the genius at the counter said were my first and second name. Apparently, the name I use is my third name, and I use it incorrectly because it’s a hyphenated name. Now, the woman wants more ID—my SIN (Social Insurance Number) has my maiden name, but Susan, the shortened version of Susanne I used in high school when I was 16. Here I’m thinking I’m going to have to go back home get my passport and a notarized letter to prove I’m me. Panic is setting in, and I’m almost in tears. Her supervisor took pity on me. I got the health card and with it, a new first name—now, I just have to learn to answer to it. 

Follow Susanne on her:

Facebook page

Twitter @jandsmatt

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