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Question
Hi Dorothy,
I'm writing a fictional novel set in the 1960's in the UK and also Australia. One of my characters is from a family with British Peerage. Upon researching I have discovered that my "fictitious" name actually exists. That is, my "Lord Whats-his-name" really does exist and even has his own website! The name just popped into my head when I was scribbling down the outline for the story.

Do I need to change the names now? Just in case I ever get published!!

Thanks for your valuable time.

Answer
Hello, Paula,

You could use the name you chose with a disclaimer in the front page of the book, or maybe change the name.  It all depends on how much that name means to you and, if you get published, how much trouble you wish to fend off if the owner of the real name has a gripe.  Even when something is legal, it may not be pleasing to the owner of the name.

If it were me, I would change the name and still use a disclaimer.  With one exception, I have always used ficticious names, and that time I wrote a long paragraph in the front explaining why I used the name, and asked understanding of others of the family.

My advice: change the name to save yourself worry while you write.

Happy writing,
Dorothy

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Dorothy K Morris

Expertise

I can answer questions about writing fiction, creating characters and re-writing. I cannot answer homework questions.

Experience

I am a published author of nine novels in The Mockingbird Hill Series.

Organizations
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR

Publications
NOVELS in the MOCKINGBIRD HILL SERIES: SECRET SINS OF THE MOTHERS, COYOTES OF CREEK CROSSING, THE EIGHTH EVIL, THE TIME IN BETWEEN, DIRTY RICE, TALLY'S NOOK, FROM THE FAR PLACES, NATURE OF THE BEAST, (THE RANKS OF THE INSANE (to come out summer 2016))

Education/Credentials
Studied writing at at American University in DC

Awards and Honors
Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in America.

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