So I get this email about three weeks ago. I killed off my Jim Winter email, blog, and social media. This lady said she did some sleuthing and figured out that I was, indeed, The Artist Formerly Known as James Winter. It was an impressive bit of sleuthing. She said she was a former editor of mine and wanted to know if I could help with getting a submission to another zine whose editor had listed James Winter as one of her recommendations. The lady emailing me said she edited one of my stories and sent me a link.
It was a great story, pretty dark like the ones I wrote toward the end of my time using the name Jim Winter. I’d have been very proud of it. Except I never wrote it. So I emailed her back and said it was a mistake. I’d called myself “Jim Winter,” not “James Winter,” since about 2006 or so. I thought that’d be the end of it.
No, she now wanted to know if I was the “James Winter” the other editor had picked as one of her faves. Definitely not as I’d never written for that mag, either. But…
While the James Winter in question did not leave contact info, he did leave clues as to his identity. A little sleuthing of my own led to an English professor who had, in fact, written the story in question. One Facebook exchange later, and I had the two connected.
This could have gone a number of ways, all of which would make for a great story in and of itself.