Several months ago, my mom and I were talking about my writing career. She asked me what name I planned to go by, what pen name I was going to use. “Maybe,” she said, “you should choose a name that’s easier to pronounce than Gligor. Don’t most writers do that?” Our conversation reminded me of an article I once read. It was an interview with actress, Jacqueline Bisset. When the interviewer told Jacqueline that he’d heard several variations on how to pronounce her last name and asked her which was correct, she replied, “Biss-It, like Kiss it.” I think that answered his question.
Names are important; they represent who we are. When I write, I am extremely careful when choosing the names for my characters. I’ve read novels where two of the main characters had names that were so similar, beginning with the same letter, etc., that it was a bit confusing. The last thing that I want to do is confuse my readers because a confused reader may get frustrated and put down my book. I also select names that “feel” right for my characters, that seem to fit them. For example, Olivia Berger is one of the characters in both of my novels. The name suits her. You’ll have to read my novels to find out why.
So, back to the answer that I gave my mother. While I don’t see anything wrong with using a pseudonym (sometimes a writer has a good reason to do that), I prefer not to. Why? Because Gligor is my family name; it was my grandfather’s and my father’s name and I’m proud to have it. As far as the pronunciation goes: Gligor rhymes with tiger. Not too hard to pronounce, after all, is it?