Less than a month after changing his name to JK Rowling, local author – previously known as Cody Wagner – has wholeheartedly regretted his decision.
“So I thought it was going to be this amazing thing where I’d sell a bunch of books,” Rowling said, holding up a copy of his novel, The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren. “And over the first week I did! And it was really exciting.”
While Rowling sold two-hundred and eighty-five books the week after his name change, the initial rush of book sales quickly faded.
“So I thought old ladies would accidentally order the book for their grandkids. And they did! But it turns out the elderly can be really mean when mislead. Their purses are all filled with Werther’s Originals and they hurt!”
Rowling, undercover, fending off a mean grandmother attack
There have been other repercussions from misleading book sales. “Look at this email from a random grandmother: ‘I ordered the book for my granddaughter who’s in the hospital with severe pancreatitis. She cried her eyes out when she saw the book wasn’t from her favorite author.'” At that, Rowling shrugged. “I didn’t think sick or dying kids would be tricked into my book. I mean, I’m OK with fooling healthy kids. They have to learn disappointment somewhere. But not this.”
The name change has unexpectedly brought false hope – and more regret – into Rowling’s life. For example, he recently received an e-mail asking him to be the keynote speaker at Comic Con in San Diego. “It was crazy!” Rowling said. “I mean, that’s only like THE event of the year. I freaking lost it I was so excited!” The email was apparently a mix-up and Rowling soon received a retraction. Unfortunately, he had already announced the event to his marketing network. “Admitting the truth on Facebook was so embarrassing. And the only people who liked it used that laughing face instead of the sad one…Idiots.”
Rowling also cites struggles with companies as reasons for his name-changing regret. “So I reached out to GoodReads and tried to get them to put my name above the real J.K. Rowling. And I had a good reason! I decided not to use the periods in my name. So it’s just JK instead of J period K period. Why? Because, alphabetically, I should appear first!” Rowling shook his head and threw his book across the room. “Turns out, they’re really partial to the real J.K. Rowling.” After looking at his screen, Rowling added, “I don’t think it’s OK for an employee to call you a hack.”
The absence of periods in his name has created another unforeseen problem. “I expected people to call me JoAnn and I was prepared for that. But the guy at the 7-Eleven seriously thought my name was Just Kidding.” Rowling started shaking his head before continuing, “He actually said, ‘Have a nice day, Mr. Kidding’.”
When asked if he was going to change his name back to Cody, Rowling replied, “Meh. It was so much work changing it in the first place.”