What’s In A Name?


I’m Christopher J. Becker, but you can just call me Chris. My pen name/stage name is Chris Jay Becker. I never go by Christopher… too stuffy and prissy, IMHO, and there are far too many guys, and girls, named Chris Becker in this world, so a middle name or initial was necessary. Chris J. Becker bores me, I keep my middle name private, so an old friend back in Washington State said, “Why don’t you spell OUT your middle initial… J-a-y. Chris Jay Becker?”


I liked it because of writers Stephen Jay Gould, and Bruce Jay Friedman, plus Chris Jay was also my “Billy Bob” name, which made me laugh, and it also serves as a tribute to many great Texas Singer-Songwriters like Billy Joe Shaver, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Robert Earl Keen. That’s why, when I recorded my first Americana album, “My Story…And I’m Stickin’ To It,” (Blue Revolushun Records– 2001), I used Chris Jay Becker as my recording artist name, and Chris Jay Becker is listed as the songwriter for those songs with ASCAP. I am both an ASCAP Writer-Member and a Publisher-Member as Hallelujah Street Music…. which I usually style as “Hallelujah! Street Music.”


With so many others named Chris Becker in the world, becoming Chris Jay Becker also opened up huge branding opportunities for me: chrisjaybecker as an e-mail brand was available for me at Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud, Outlook, pretty much everywhere, and chrisjaybecker.com was readily available, as you would know since that’s the site you’re on right now.


When I published my debut Crime novel, “Death In The Fastlane” in 2011, Chris Jay Becker was my byline, as it is with my other Amazon titles. Whenever I sell a short story, I have to tell the editor NOT to put just plain Chris Becker or Chris J. Becker as the byline. Chris Jay Becker is my brand name.

But, when you’re talking to me, or if you message me, don’t call me Chris Jay. It’s just Chris, or Beck.

Or C-Beck. That’s my “J-Lo name.”

Or even CJB. That’s my “JFK name” ;-). CJB Drive has a nice ring to it. CJB Boulevard?


I also sometimes use the British nickname for Christopher, which is Kit, i.e. Kit Marlowe, Kit Smart, Kit Lambert, Kit Harington, Kit Carson. I’ve used Kit Baker as a pseudonym once or twice, with Baker being the English translation of the German-surname Becker. Why the hell not? Kit Baker sounds like an Elizabethan scoundrel, and it’s ambiguous enough, gender-wise, to use for stories that need a feminine-sounding pen name, such as Romances and Cozy Mysteries. More on these things in a later post.

Keep Reading and Keep Writing, friends.


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