(Simulcast at secretdead.blogspot.com.)"Duane Swierczynski" is quite a handle, isn't it? But hey, don't blame me. I've tried to change it before. Throughout my senior year of high school I submitted short horror stories to whatever markets I could find, including markets way out of my grubby little immature reach. Markets like Weird Tales, probably the oldest and most respected horror and fantasy magazine in the world. But I was a punk kid who noticed they were based in Philly, so I thought: What the hell, right? The story I sent Weird Tales was called "Submission," and I gave it that title because I thought it would be fun to open up a cover letter with the sentence: "Dear Editor, please find my submission, "Submission," enclosed with this letter." (I was 17. This is what passed for wit in my teenaged mind.) I also asked about internships or assistant-type jobs, figuring that maybe I could work my way up from the mailroom or something. And finally, I decided that a "Duane Swierczynski" could never make the pages of Weird Tales. I needed something snappier. So I lopped off my last name and became "Duane Louis."
Use your full last name. It's real, and people will remember it.(Click the letter below to read the whole thing.)