July 1, 2005
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Wright and Wrong
June 1, 2005
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Jane Shoup

The Name Game

I was born in May of ’61 and named Jane Ellen Johnson. Yes, it’s true. There was never a more boring, generic-sounding name than Jane Johnson. Is there question as to why I had to develop a sense of humor? I also had a ‘golden girl’ older sister and an ‘adorable’ younger sister . . . and there I was, plain Jane, stuck in the middle. Anyway, I got married, (name change), divorced, (kept the last name, since it was the name of my daughters,) remarried, (another name change.) Thus you have the current and reigning name, Jane Shoup. (It’s pronounced to rhyme with ‘shout’, not ‘soup’.)

About a year ago, I decided to try my hand at writing an erotic romance. It came easier than I thought it would, although, admittedly, I still occasionally blush and gasp as I reread my own work. When I placed the manuscripts with Whiskey Creek Press, I decided they needed to go under a pen name, but to explain how I came up with Elle Emriche, I have to tell a weird little story.

Not too long ago, I came across an old picture of my father when he was young. I’d seen a reprint of this picture before, but this was the original. I turned it over, and found Billy Emriche written on the back. I was surprised and confused, since that’s not my dad’s name. I asked him about it, and, very casually, he said it was his name. You could have knocked me over with a feather. He explained that his biological father (Mr. Emriche) died when he was an infant, and that his mother remarried a man named Johnson, who he thought was his father . . . until the man abandoned them and ran off to Arizona where he started a whole new family. So, Dad grew up being called Johnson. His name wasn’t legally changed until he wanted to marry my mother, and, for some reason, she insisted on it. I know, I know, what’s in a name? But, the fact that my name should have been Emriche was shocking to me. Well, now, in a way, it is. Jane (Elle)n Emriche Shoup.

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