Tag Archives: pen name

What’s with the J.T.?


All of my many fans are clamoring to know, “Sarah, what is with the J.T. in your name?”
If you are observant you may have noticed that a couple of years ago I added the J. middle initial to my name on Facebook, and then just this week I changed it to J.T.

Well, there’s a few important reasons for that!

  1.  George R.R. Martin – need I say more? Two middle initials are just cool.
  2. Sarah Bruce was too generic, and the domain was taken. So I switched to Sarah J. Bruce for my writing name a couple years ago. J is for Jo-Nell, my middle name. I was named after my maternal grandmother, a prolific writer who never got around to publishing any of her stories, but she had some amazing ones and she entertained us all with them. Her  dad, Lyman Gentry Barrett, was a reporter and newspaper editor.
  3. Though I nabbed the domain a couple years ago, SarahJBruce was not available for gmail or twitter. So I added the T – for Thoman, my maiden name. After not-that-much discussion with Will when we were engaged, I went along with giving up my maiden name and going with his. But there are a number of amazing Thomans that I am proud to be related to:
    • Roger Thoman, my dad; a missionary and minister, and writer, and all around great guy
    • Evelyn B. Thoman, my dad’s mom; a published author of books and articles in peer-reviewed journals in her field of Psychology; also a former professor at University of Connecticut and Stanford University (among others)
    • My aunts and uncles:
      • Lila Thoman Nissen, former VP at Houghton Mifflin, with her name in probably more math textbooks than can be counted
      • Lynda Thoman, who appears to be completely missing from the internet but is a professor of economics at Purdue
      • Kim Thoman, artist extraordinaire and retired art teacher
      • Marta Thoma(n) Hall – an artist, author of an art textbook, and President of Velodyne
      • Eric Thoman, retired lawyer and current business owner running a charter boat in Alaska during the summer
    • My great-uncle, Richard S. Thoman, retired geography professor and author of geography textbooks. When I was at Cal Poly, my geography teacher actually recognized my last name and informed me there was a famous geographer by that name. He was talking about “Uncle Dick”.

So there you have it. The origin story for Sarah J.T. Bruce. Someday, someone somewhere will care! 🙂