I got married way back in 1995, when I was pretty young. I married a Japanese girl and her surname was Kobayashi. I was never comfortable with the idea that a woman has to adopt a man’s name after marriage. It strikes me as a bit odd, like continuing the idea that a father owns his daughter and passes her on to the husband, so the woman has to only ever have the name of her father or her husband.
So we agreed to hyphenate our names – both of us started using Kobayashi-Hillary as our surname and it was all fine. I wrote several books using that name.
But I broke up with my former wife over three years ago and we have since divorced. So I recently took some time to go and get a new passport, reverting back to my former name, just ‘Mark Hillary’.
I’m undecided what I will do about my next book. The Kobayashi-Hillary name is very unusual and having written several books under that name, I might continue to use it as a writing name for some time, but to be honest I am still undecided on that.
For now though, I’m officially just Mark Hillary once again.