The Name

1. What is your real name?

Sparkle Vera Lynnette Hayter.

2. No, seriously, what is your real name?

This is the name my parents gave me when I was born. Seriously. No, they weren't hippies and they weren't on drugs. They were young -- my mom was just 17, and I was the first-born.

3. Were you named after a character in Dick Tracy?

Apparently not, though Sparkle Plenty existed before I did. My rule used to be that if I told someone the truth three times and they still didn't believe me, I'd tell them a big whopper and move on, like, "I was named after a Dick Tracy character," or "It's a traditional Canadian name."

4. Are there other Sparkles?

Plenty. The name is particularly popular in the West Indies. I hope to go there some day and have an all-Sparkle meetup.

5. Can I see your birth certificate?

Not unless you have a warrant. I used to show it on demand but it made it too hard to lie about my age. In a world of Moon Units etc. it seems unnecessary, and the name Sparkle itself seems almost vanilla. I read of a kid named Audio, which on the playground is short for "kick me till I'm stupid." I sure do sympathize with Obama. People have been demanding my birth certificate my whole life.

6. Would you give a kid an unusual name?

It's a blessing as well as a curse, but probably not.

7. Sparkle is a name for a dog or a stripper.

Also, a writer, an R&B singer, and hundreds of West Indian women.

The Bollywood FAQ.