Becoming Jordan Rivet

My name is Jordan Rivet and I am an author.

I announced this pen name in a video a few days ago, along with the news that I quit my day job to write for six months and publish my new post-apocalyptic series. In my other life, I write creative non-fiction about Hong Kong, expat life, student loans, long distance romance and various Millennial concerns. But my fiction is pure adventure. It demands a separate identity.

I’ve been working on The Seabound Chronicles since November of 2012 and mulling over various pen names for almost as long. Here’s what I needed:

1 – A name that isn’t gender specific. Science fiction in general and post-apocalyptic stories in particular tend to be somewhat skewed toward male writers. I’m not interested in passing as a man or as a set of initials, but I wanted a name ambiguous enough that it wouldn’t stop people on their way to the book description. That’s what really counts.

2 – A surname that is unique. I write my other work under my maiden name, Young, which is very common. I’ve always had to share my name, search results and domains with others. My married name is even more common than Young. You can probably guess it.

3 – A name that is meaningful in some way. I may or may not have imagined situations in which interviewers (after I become wildly famous, obviously) ask me about who or what influenced my name choice. I needed a better answer than: “So I could get the .com for it.”

So how did I settle on Jordan Rivet?

My first love as a reader lies with epic fantasy. I toyed with the idea of using a double R name in the tradition of J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin. But the name I kept coming back to (a pen name itself) was Robert Jordan. I grew up with the Wheel of Time series. Read it with my dad and then my little brother. I cried when Robert Jordan died, and still haven’t really gotten over it. I hope to write an epic fantasy one day, if I’m ever up to the challenge, and I liked the idea of paying homage to the master world-builder. Plus, Jordan is a cool name (one that I’ve always thought of as a girl’s name anyway). It fit.

To find Rivet, I literally Googled uncommon surnames and went down the list until I found one I liked. Rivet is something like the 11,000th most common name in the USA. It has a great ring to it, it’s easy to say and it goes well with the badass mechanic who is the main character of Seabound. The book is full of rust, metal and machines; I’ll use the name for other work, but for Seabound in particular, it fit.

So there you have it. I’m excited to be writing The Seabound Chronicles as Jordan Rivet.

In a few days, I’m going to reveal the cover for Seabound to my email list subscribers. If you want to see it in advance (and you should because it’s awesome), please add your email address here. You’ll also be notified of the secret $0.99 sale when the e-book launches this fall. Thanks!

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