My name is Trine Johanne Cederlöf and I’m a Nordic writer and cake lover, born in Canada, but based in Scandinavia.
Having parents of Nordic heritage will eventually land you with a name unpronounceable internationally, so I’ve opted for TJ Cedar when not at home. And while the online world is becoming a part of many people’s home spaces, I don’t do my grocery shopping here (yet, anyway…)
TJ Cedar is a pen name and I’ve always thought that there was something romantic about pen names; like a secret identity for authors wanting to be known for their work, not their personalities. Or in my case, the unpronounceability of it. I don’t really mind people knowing who I am. But if they do want to know me, I’d prefer for them to not have to struggle with what to call me.
So TJ Cedar it is for when I write. It’s classic, timeless and strong (cedar trees are very strong… and tall).
“Cederlöf” is actually an old family name, granted to my great grandfather by the King of Sweden, for years of service. He was a Nilsson before he took the name Cederlöf and I’m very proud to be the great grand daughter of gardeners and sailors, serving country and planet.
“Johanne” is a name I took for myself, when I at age 22 relieved myself of the given name Pedersen, which is my father’s surname. Johanne was the middle name of his mother, and so not to make him think, that my lack of connection to the Pedersen name had anything to do with my lack of connection to his family, I took her middle name as my own. The Pedersens I hail from were farmers and merchants.
“Trine” was picked for me, because my father insisted on all his children having a name that began with a T, just as his own. Trine is a Scandinavian short term of Katharina or Cathrine and is primarily used in Denmark and Norway. In recent years it has been more commonly used for dogs and horses, than baby girls. I went to school with a boy who had a dog named Trine. She was a golden retriever.