My favorite part of book signings and other events is answering people’s questions. I’m basically a shy person and not very good at initiating conversation, so questions open the door nicely for me.
One of the questions I am often asked is “Where does the name Blindogg Books come from?” which is usually followed closely by “Why is it spelled wrong?”
The story begins in 1992, or maybe 1993 (cue the flashback music)…
At that time I was raising and socializing puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. It was a volunteer thing and I really loved it.
Part of socializing potential Guide Dogs is taking them to public places to give them exposure to “real-life” situations.
Many employees at local business became accustomed to seeing me with my puppies, but on one occasion a girl at the register of a local hardware store didn’t know the drill and told me I couldn’t bring my dog into the store. The girl at the next register recognized me and told the new girl “It’s okay, that’s the blind dog guy.”
The blind dog guy—I liked it and decided to shorten it to blind dog for use as my screen name on AOL (remember it was the early 90s) as an homage to my involvement with GEB and, as a bonus, it sounded like a cool blues-guy name (I love the blues).
Of course AOL wouldn’t let me use blind dog because of the space between the words, I tried blinddog, but it was also rejected because (believe it or not) somebody was already using it. My third attempt – blindogg – was available so I took it.
Since then I’ve used blindogg as my official “computer name” and when I released my first novel I decided to use it as my brand name – incorrect spelling and all.
Probably not the most riveting story you’ve ever heard, but it’s all I got. So if you see me at a book signing you won’t have to ask, but please ask something else—it’ll help keep the conversation moving!