[inarticulate growl]


People are always printing my name wrong. It's happened from the very beginning of my publishing career, and continues---no matter how explicit I am.

Of course, at the beginning, even I was uncertain at times how I wanted to be labeled, but then and now there have only ever been two possible correct answers:

Theric Jepson

Eric W Jepson

Eric W Jepson is my real name. Theric Jepson is my writing name. (If you like, you may write the former as Eric W. Jepson.) Spoken aloud, the W[.] is silent. Written, it is emphatically part of my visual identity. Eric Jepson is not now, nor has it every been, nor shall it ever be, me.

No matter what any stupid yearbook or ward bulletin or work ID may have claimed, if you write Eric Jepson, you really don't know me that well.

But, in my decades-long attempt to be humble, I try not to Make a Big Fuss. And every once in a while someone finds a fun new way to get it wrong.

It's frustrating. It's annoying. But, hey! I'm cool about it! Because it is my job as a cool human not to let these things bother me. Even when they spell it Jeppsen.

But there's a new incident that has really upset me. And I'm writing this post to figure out why.

I can't link to it because, at present, there is no online presence [see update below], but the BYU library put together a little collection of pandemic literature by LDS writers (or possibly writers with a BYU connection? no doubt these are closely connected groups, but without an online presence explaining the final result, I can't just google it and by the end of this sentence be able to say for sure) called A Desolating Sickness.

I love the BYU library. And I love Special Collections. I have fond memories and positive experiences with both. I've presented at Comic-Con twice with a fellow from L. Tom Perry Special Collections (where my name, both times, was printed Theric Jepson) and I have other friends who work at the library. Another friend of mine, who recently edited one of my favorite pieces (published under the name Theric Jepson), was invited to persuade writers to join the collection and was the lead editor of the project.

Plus, I'm an alum. They have my name in their catalogue probably more than any other library, even without specific effort to collect me, and they've contacted me to ask how to properly capture me on their authority file.

I wish they had the exhibit up on their site because it doe look cool. It opened early January and one of my librarian friends just sent me photos from my share of the exhibit. Here's one:

You can't see it in this crop, but they solved a difficult design problem I created by having emojis in the story (nice work, designer!) but: they got my name wrong. They got my name wrong.

It's also peculiar that they put an image of Press 'Forward,' Saints with a caption saying I am the "Author of." I am not the author of. I have a story in that anthology and it is a story I want people to read, but it's...just not correct. They gave Wm Monsters & Mormons which at least has his name on it, but it's weird, isn't it, to not just use books we actually wrote? (his) That's weird, right?

Of course, Special Collections has ignored Byuck before. When they did the show on Matt Page they displayed books whose covers he'd designed but left out Byuck which, and I may be biased, I thought was more interesting visually (and certainly more BYUy) than at least one of the others that made the display. But, you know, I'm cool. It's not like *I* was owed anything. And who knows---maybe Matt made that call.

I have to say: I have rarely been more thrilled than I was when I received an invitation to be part of A Desolating Sickness. And I'm still happy my story was included---I wish I could go see them all! I hope they follow through with an early plan to make the whole thing available online---all us writers recorded audio of their stories and there are short interview videos with us. It's very cool! And a terrific mix of solid writers!

It's just---

If BYU can't get my name right---when we even share a tradition of letting people be sticklers over weird initialing choices---can anyone?

I know I'm not important, but I thought I could assume that BYU would know my name.


NOTE: Because they spent money getting it printed big on the wall, I feel bad saying anything. I suppose this post might come off as passive-aggressive (and maybe it is), but I'm hoping to just excise some uncool emotions and solve this problem some better way. Maybe my new style guide will help? If they do print our stories in a book, I presume they'll send galleys.


UPDATE: Although not officially launched because it's not in proper shape and most of the extra stuff is missing, the stories themselves are online and I for one am excited to read them!


  1. .

    UPDATE: I asked and they fixed it online. Thanks, Library!

  2. .

    Great news! The full thing's up! https://pandemicstories.lib.byu.edu/