For my first published fiction, I used the pen name Allison Rohan.
(I've mentioned this, right? My short story, Golden-- whose name you helped choose!-- was published in Bear Publications' anthology, Medieval Mars. You should check it out.)
Anyway, I used a pen name for a variety of reasons:
1. People find my last name, Ruvidich, quite hard to pronounce. It's not. It's spelled phonetically. But people struggle with it.
I have nightmares that go like this:
Lead Editor: Hey, there's this fantastic new author I think we should publish!
Publisher: Great, what's her name?
Lead Editor: It's Ru-- um-- Rud-- Rudivi--
Lead Editor: Never mind.
2. It is not only unnaturally difficult for English speakers, it is also quite uncommon, believe it or not. I am, to the best of my knowledge, the only Allison Ruvidich in the world. (Or at least on Facebook.) So although I'm terribly proud of my work, I would like a little breathing room between it and myself.
3. Ruvidich, like many unpronounceable last names, can be challenging to spell. In my first published work, they spelled it Rudovich and Rudovitch. In the same book. (I know.)
I have another nightmare. It goes like this.
Lead Editor: Here's the first printed copy of your book, Miss Rudi-- miss.
Me: Thank you!!
I look down at it. It says, by Alison Rudivitch.
So yeah. I knew I wanted a pen name.
There are plenty of totally easy-to-spell names in my Dad's family, like Radocaj and Nikolic. (I'm sorry, but you just mispronounced those in your head. I'll give you a hint: Nikolic rhymes with Ruvidich.) So I looked through the names in my Mom's family-- and lo! Hardy, Walker, and Rohan.
The last name stuck with me. For one, it started with an R, like my real name. For another, it is the maiden name of my Lovely Grandmother.
But finally-- and here's the real reason-- if you mispronounce it, you get Rohan. As in... Riders of Rohan. As in Eowyn.
I pretty much am Eowyn.
So there you have it! The story behind my pen name. Today is, regrettably, the first day of school for me, but that means I'll be posting more often, according to the strange logic of the universe. Does anyone else use a pen name? And is anyone else back in school?