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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of a Kind

Personal Weather Report - Clear skies. Winds of change.

Writing Activity - Editing for critique partner. Prepping for blog guests. Brainstorming a new story.

I'm unique. No, really. I'm one of a kind.

Yeah, sure. I know I have DNA and fingerprints unlike any other person past, present or future. But I have something else that sets me apart.

My name.

I happened upon a Web site one day not long ago,, that gives statistics and interesting trivia regarding names.
Using U.S. Census Bureau data, the site provides information on how many U.S. citizens have a certain name. Of course, the one I searched was Keli Gwyn.

Guess what I discovered?

Only 0.0003% have the first name Keli. Only 0.0009% have the surname Gwyn. Combine the two, and the site guesstimates only one American has my name.


I think there's a chance I may be one of a handful in the entire world bearing the name Keli Gwyn. Since I'm a writer and want to see what's been said about me out in Cyberspace, I perform a Google search for "Keli Gwyn" (in quotation marks) from time to time. Tonight's inquiry revealed about 1,870 hits. And every single one of them is about lil ol' me.

Writers work to come up with the name that will grace their book covers when they make that long-awaited first sale. Ever since I typed "chapter one" on my first manuscript, I knew I wanted to use my real name. Some writers don't have the option.

If an author writes stories with Hispanic heroines but is named Gillian MacDougall, the editor will insist on a pen name. If her name is Gabrielle Engelbreit, out it goes due to sentiments lingering from WWII. If her name sounds old-fashioned and she writes for the young adult market, she'll get a pseudonym for sure.

My name is short, catchy and ethnically acceptable. It's two syllables followed by one. Balanced. And it's very unique.

The creatively spelled Keli comes from my forward-thinking mother who didn't want my androgynous name to look like a boy's, so she dropped an "l" and was a pioneer in the use of the "i" ending. My Welsh husband graced me with the "vowel-less" Gwyn (pronounced Gwin).

I love my name. And, yes, I think it's awesome. Not that I'm going to dash over to and order this t-shirt, though.

(And, no, I didn't design the shirt in anticipation of having something to pass out to my adoring fans at book signings once I'm published. I believe it advertises world renown fitness educator and trainer Keli Roberts.)

And now, a couple of questions for you. Do you like your name and the way it's spelled? If not, what do you wish it could be?


Susan Gee Heino said...

Hey, Keli! I think your name is perfect. It fits you, it's unique, but it's not weird or impossible to pronounce. Great name and I can't wait to see it on a book cover. (Although, 1800 Google hits all dedicated to you alone is pretty great!)

I like my name, but there are a ton of Susan's out there and I think about half of them write romance, like I do. My last names are unique, but I need a name like Cher, or Madonna, or Nora so people know exactly which Susan they're talking about. Maybe I'll just change it to Keli. Whaddaya think?

C.J. Redwine said...

What a fun site! I'll have to go check it out. I wonder how many Cherilyn Redwines are out there? :)

kaye dacus said...

I'm not quite as unique as you are--approximately 0.011% have the first name Kaye. But Dacus is 0.0009%, so they guesstimate that there is only one Kaye Dacus in America. When I did it with "Katherine" it came up with a possible 8. Since I actually know one other already (my cousin, Kathryn "Katie" Dacus), it's probably correct.

Fun site. Especially for someone like me who loves stats. :-)

Anne Barton said...

Keli, I like your name too! And I think it'll look great across the cover of your books. Since you don't have lots of letters in your name, the typeface can be really BIG! :) --Anne

Caroline said...

Hi, one of a kind, Keli! :)
U do have a fab name. I've always thought it unique.

I LOVED that name site. Tons of fun. And I'm one of THREE. That is amazing. Thanks for the fun.