Saturday, 30 April 2016

Haylie Jaed.

When I was eleven, I started writing. At first it was because I was tired of waiting for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to be released, and then it was because I found it was something I enjoyed. It was like playing make-believe - like going on adventures with my favourite characters, like having magic of my own - except I had a record of it. My earliest "works" might not have survived, but one thing from those days has. 

The first character I ever created was, I'm not ashamed to admit, a complete Mary Sue. Although I didn't know fan fiction existed at the time, my first original character was already one of those that fast became the most cliché. She was Harry Potter's long-lost twin sister, with her mother's looks and her father's eyes, and together they went on all manner of senseless, plotless adventures. 

Her name was Haylie. 

Two years later, when it came time for me to start posting my work online, I decided to use this as my penname. While I was working solely on Harry Potter fan fiction, I was haylie_lupin - and it was under this name that I got my first handful of dedicated readers, and all the comments that I would need to spur me on further. 

At fifteen, I decided to make the move to original fiction. I went through a few different pennames at that point (most of which I can't remember, with The Rock Queen being the worst that I can) before realising that this was confusing to my old readers. Everybody had already come to know me as Haylie, and it seemed stupid to change this. At the same time, I wanted to drop the Harry Potter-ness from my name. And so Haylie Lily Potter removed herself from the Harry Potter universe. 

She became Haylie Jaed. 

Her surname is ever-changing (Turner, Cooper, Buchanan) but her first and middle remain the same, and the name Haylie Jaed is now one that I have used for a solid ten years. Most people who read my work these days know me by this name, even though I have recently adopted Renée Shantel as my official penname, and it's because of this (and because she was my first) that the name will forever be a part of me. 

And even though some people might think it's stupid, I got myself a birthday present to remember it by: 

This necklace was created by Belle Fever, and I absolutely adore it. I looked all over eBay and Etsy for somebody who could do a necklace like this - a long name, with two capital letters - and found nobody, and they were the first site to pop up when I did a Google search. Much to my delight, they were also relatively cheap. 

I highly recommend them if you're looking for a good quality, unique gift for yourself or somebody special. I'm absolutely in love with my new necklace, and at this point have no plans to ever take it off.

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