Heads You Lose

A Novel

By Lisa Lutz + David Hayward

From our Blog

Me, Me, Me

One symptom of Tiny Name Syndrome, a condition afflicting many smaller-font co-authors, is a persistent hunger for greater name recognition. These days, that means Googling yourself. Doing so has taught me that I’m much more interesting than I thought:

“David Hayward is an aesthete, and a long time jazz trumpeter, having worked with Stan Kenton and Janis Joplin. Also, he is a professional astrologist, a freelance editor, a novelist (Heads You Lose), and a respected poet. Mr. Hayward’s poetry is known for its musicality that it is both delightful and provocative, and it deals with most every subject in the universe.” -- New York Journal of Books

I can claim about a third of those qualities; the rest belong to the Los Angeles gentleman who wrote Shorthand of the Soul: The Quotable Horoscope. While I am a Pisces and therefore enjoy karaoke, I am neither an astrologer nor a musician. I suspect the confusion sprung from our shared affinity for poetry as well as our respective collaborations with famous ornery women (Joplin, Lutz).

Look at enough of your namesakes and common characteristics will emerge. Most David Haywards seem to be pinkish blond guys with glasses. We’re differentiated mainly by our relative levels of disrepair, like Ed Begley Jr. at various stages of a prolonged bender. At the shinier end of that spectrum is the web’s number-two David Hayward—a Canadian spiritual advisor, cartoonist, dream interpreter, and musician who’s also known as the Naked Pastor. Even with that killer bio and nickname, he’s ascended as high as he can.

That’s because we real David Haywards all cower in the shadow of our raven-haired overlord. The number one spot is reserved for Dr. David Hayward, the brooding All My Children villain. When his wife finally killed him last year, nonfictional David Haywards glimpsed a wide-open future. Then he strolled into the courtroom of her murder trial and we retreated to our basements and home offices to fine-tune our model trains and sermons and mystery novels.

And we can’t expect much in the way of reinforcements from younger generations—how many of the Daves you know are babies? All our potential young brothers are Aidans and Finns. So it’s up to us. I call upon David Haywards everywhere to join me in a global alliance dedicated to the virtues of unpopular interests, staying out of the sun, and ending the fake doctor’s suave reign. As a bonus, if any of us ever write a book together, there will be just one big name on the cover. And it will be ours.

Response from Lisa:

Until Dave got his name on a book jacket (thanks to me) he never worried himself about font size or his David Hayward rankings on Google. I have to wonder if I have done more harm than good in helping the #10 David Hayward (courtesy of the headsyoulose.com website) realize his dream of becoming a published novelist. Dave, it’s about the art, not your Google rankings. When they say "be the best that you can be," they don’t mean compete with your other namesakes. Just be the best #10 David Hayward that you can be. Which would involve being a lot nicer to the #1 Lisa Lutz.

Comments

Hey David:  This wasn’t just a guise to get everyone to google your name, was it?  I didn’t think so….just checking.  :)

Of course not! But please do Google the name of any other David Hayward who doesn’t live in Pine Valley, PA (where All My Children is set). We all need your support.

Thanks to Google alerts I’ve discovered that my namesakes either tend to be a) Olympics-qualifying alpine downhill skiiers, or b) homicidal sex offenders.
But my bio pops up first on Google. It’s all about the meta tags, David. I have faith in you-you’ll beat Dr. David Hayward yet.

Hey Dave,

I’ll help you in your, uh, mission, if you assist me in eradicating people calling men named Cameron “Cam” or using bastardized spellings like Camryn.

In short, if you see someone call a Cameron “Cam”, lunge and attack like a third grader female on a three day bender of Jolt Cola, Red-hot cheetos and pop rocks.

Cameron Hughes

Thanks Cam!

Ha! My Google Alerts show Jennifer Forbus as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. military somewhere. What’s super depressing are the Google Alerts that somehow bring back posts about Jennifer Aniston - she must be reading books, I guess. I just forward those to Tom Schreck.

That was depressing. I know I was supposed to google you David. I googled Tom Ellis Sonoma instead and the first ten things that come up are old business addresses. There was nothing about poetry or talent or anything interesting like that. It doesn’t look like there was any talented Tom Ellis. I got to page three of the search results and stopped looking for a talented or fun or witty Tom. I think I need to work less and focus on my creative side. Maybe get a creative side. I look forward to your book.

It’s a bummer about your name being smaller. I’m a biochemist and being the first author on a paper is all important, but at least if one is the second author the font size doesn’t get smaller.

Anyone who can pronounce my last name, can’t spell it, as it is not phonetic, even though it looks that way (with many possible pronunciations). But at least, there are no other Brenda Mengelings out there.

I checked out my Facebook name twins when I was feeling a little low and found one, with the same nickname as I have, who is the unwed mother of a paralyzed (would-be) toddler. I slank away.

Not to bring this conversation or blog down to the lowest common denominator, but is the perseverance on font size perhaps standing in for any other perceived “shortcomings?”

Running & ducking….

P.S. David, are you also the author of “The Curse of the Brass Hand?”

No,The Curse of the Brass Hand is mine. And it’s a very, very good book, so go and buy it.

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