Who in hell is Ajax Minor? Check the link. Everyone knows Ajax the Greater, or simply Ajax. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes in the Iliad, next to Achilles.
There are many reasons an author may use a pseudonym. Georges Sand, and other female writers of the 19th century, felt they needed the protection a pen name offered, or the credibility a male name conveyed (or maybe Georges Sand just liked to wear pants and smoke). Michael Crichton used the handle John Lange for his pulp fiction potboilers, while a student at Harvard Med School. Was he trying to hide something or just having fun? And Mark Twain? Brilliant marketing of brilliant books that connected his stories to a true past.
I think Sam Clemens’ motivation comes closest to my own, though I think that the adjective ‘brilliant’ applied to anything I have produced or accomplished to date inappropriate. But like Clemens’ experiences on the Mississippi, “Sun Valley, Moon Mountains” drew its inspiration from the shared experience my wife, Linda, and I suffered in losing a child. And my choice of Ajax Minor reflects the deep interest I’ve always had in Classical history and literature, as did the book’s main protagonist, Jaq. The Iliad was the first book that seized my imagination when I was in elementary school; and I’ve read it in many versions since and consider it to be one of my all time faves. Maybe like Clemens I just thought the name was snappier than my own.
Ajax connected well phonetically with the name Jaq. I believe that Jaq would not have thought the comparison to Ajax the Greater appropriate, because of both the warrior’s physical stature and his own temperament. But why would I ever care what a character in a fantasy thinks?
World lines are a key basis for the fantasy in SVMM and in the subsequent books in the “Ur Legend” series. In quantum mechanics, not only elementary particles, but macroscopic objects, can branch at key points in their histories as they evolve. In one of my personal histories, I wrote SVMM; in another, I found the manuscript that Jaq wrote and edited it for publication. In an infinite universe, with infinite time, all contingencies are not only realizable but realized.
So, you decide who really wrote SVMM and the new book, “The Girl From Ipanema.” In Hugh Everett’s quantum theory, we both did. Ajax Minor, then, is a pseudonym, but there is nothing ‘fake’ about it. It is a tribute to the hero of my story. And the story itself is a tribute to my heroines, the loves of my life, Linda and Katherine, Kate and Ur.