When I decided, about a year ago, that I was going to finally get some writing done, in a serious way, and was planning my first novel, I started to wonder if I should write under my real name, or choose a pen name.
I like my first name, always have. My mother called me Tricia from the day I was born, shortening it herself to discourage the more usual abbreviation, at least in those days, of Patricia, to Pat, She's Irish and had a brother and umpteen uncles and male cousins called Pat, so didn't want it attached to her little pink baby girl. By the way, that didn't work - I still got called Pat by teachers and a handful of other adults and schoolfriends (and hated it), but everyone who mattered called me Tricia.
But my surname is not mine. It's my husband's name. I prefer it to my maiden name, but it's never really felt like me. And I feel like a different person when I write, so a different "writing name" seemed a good idea. But what? It had to be something that fit.
So, one day, I started brainstorming ideas for my pen name, and I started with the full version of my first name, Patricia.
It means: of noble birth. So, that was the Noble part sorted. But the birth bit was more difficult. Natalie was a possibilty, but Natalie Noble seemed a little too cheesily alliterative. But Natasha, another form of Natalie, can be shortened to Tasha, and Tasha's not too far from Tricia. So, Tasha Noble was born, so to speak. Just a play on my first name. I suppose I could just as easily have been Nat Wellborn, if I'd decided to follow the Brontes' example and write under a male name. Well, I haven't ruled it out. Lots of authors have more than one pen name, don't they?
By the way, last July, I was out with my daughter, Lucy, and I'd been on here for a few months, being called Tasha by all and sundry in comments and chats. Someone called out "Tasha". (She was calling her daughter.) The funny thing is, not only did I look to see who was calling me, but Lucy did too.