My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Story Behind the Pen Name (or, Why is My Last Name So Hard to Say?)

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--

Publisher: What?

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?


Hannah said...

Awesome! I was wondering! :)

Jemma Tainsh said...

I think your pen name is great! (I really like your real name too :) )
Hope you have fun at school(or are you home schooled?)
I'm back at 'school' too. I'm doing lots of writing for it which is pretty awesome.

ghost ryter said...

Ah, I wondered if LotR had something to do with it. :D I'm planning to use a pen-name as well, although I'm having trouble settling on what the name is.

Blue said...

It's great having relatives with cool names, is it not?
I have similar worries, should I ever publish. I can see it now...

Lead Editor: "That's a bit unusual for a pen name, isn't it?"
Me: "Sigh- no, that's my actual name."
Lead Editor: "Oh, well if you really want a pen name, that's okay..."
Me, handing over ID: "Here, proof."
Lead Editor: "Oh! So that's how you spell it? It wasn't a typo?"

Hope the school year goes well for you. Looking forward to more of your posts.

Laura Pol said...

Thanks for sharing! Since I started writing this summer, I felt lead to do a pen name: Gracie Phillips. Phillips is my maiden name and Gracie sort of just happened. I got inspired by the idea that I'm just a broken girl that was saved by grace. :)

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Hannah- There's always a backstory! ; )

@Jemma- Yes, I am indeed homeschooled, and loving every minute of it!

@Ghosty- So many choices. I like how mine was both family- and literary-inspired. I'm sure you'll find the perfect one!

@Blue- HA! So true!

@Laura- That's lovely! Gracie Phillips... I quite like that. : ) I can't wait to see your writing!