… for those of you who’re observant and noticed that Sian’s suddenly popped up on the radar as author of A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac (AFFA)… Yes, Sian is me and I am Sian, but before we get too excited, here’s Sian’s true pedigree in her new career as a nom de plume 😀
It’s all in the name – and, in the Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza ‘Kingdom’ of Rivendell, where my roleplaying alter-ego and elven persona, Janowyn, was created and developed. You see, Jano’s a kind of literary super-ego for me, in that she’s a bard and artist in paint and in song so, when I write fantasy, I’m generally channelling her like mad. However, she’s thoroughly grounded in Middle Earth (if you can’t guess where the ‘owyn’ came from then you’re obviously NOT a Tolkien nut!) and so, for original fiction that goes out into the Real World (such as it is…) her name needed a small upgrade.
Most people know of Tolkien’s official career as a philologist and Oxford Professor of Anglo-Saxon. Maybe not so well-known are his sources for creating the lingua franca of the Elves of Middle Earth, namely Sindarin (not Quenya – that rightfully belongs in Valinor). One of the main influences for Sindarin comes from the Welsh (P-Celtic or Brythonic), which Tolkien described as ‘the Queen of Celtic Languages’.
Sîan is the Welsh for Jane, Janette or Jan…
Glírdan is a literal translation into Sindarin for a songsmith, or bard – glir = song and dan = smith.
Bards, especially the Elven ones, are more accurately wordsmiths – writers, archivists and historians. Interestingly, my maiden surname is Gove, which is a variant of Goff or Gow and was commonly associated with the occupation of smith (as in the Govan quarter of Glasgow with it’s ship-building industry)…
So, Sîan Glírdan is a more prosaic rendering of Janowyn the Bard, while still sounding robustly romantic and Gaelic! A fitting pseudonym for a writer of fantasy, especially in the spirit of fantasy freebooting which is my term for post-modernist ‘cyber-pirating’ of classic fantasy memes.
Enough pomposity let’s have some fun and a look at Jano’s wedding album with her Wood-elf hubby, Silen Aranor 😛