My devout Catholic parents named me Mary Katherine, with the intent that I would be called just that.  Mary Katherine is a mouthful, so that only lasted a year, and I’ve since been called Mary Kaye, Mare, M.K. and M., among other nicknames.

When I moved to Chicago and introduced myself over and over as Mary Kaye, almost everyone immediately called me M.K. instead.  After more than a decade, I’m so used to M.K. that, if anyone calls me Mary Kaye, I feel like I’m getting in trouble.

If you have comments or questions about my memoir, website or blog, please contact me at  And, feel free to call me M.K. when you do:  It’s easiest to type.