FAQs: names

How do you pronounce your middle name?

"Leitich" is prounced Lie-tick. First a long "i," then a short "i," followed by a hard "k." I hope this is clear. I'm afraid I don't have the ability on this program to use pronunciation marks.

Listen to me say my name at the Author Pronunciation Guide from TeachingBooks.net.

Why do you and your husband have the same middle and last names?

When Greg and I got married, our names were Greg Hannes Leitich and Cynthia Louise Smith. You may remember the fictional town (Hannesburg, Kansas) from RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME. It was named after Greg.

Anyway, as a child, I had been called "Cindy Lou" and occasionally "Cindy Lou Who" after the character from THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS. (By the way, I also have a cousin named "Wendy Sue"). In my twenties, I'd been published as a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. When I got married, I decided to take Greg's last name as my middle name in hopes of keeping "Cynthia L. Smith" but dropping "Louise."

Then when I became a published children's author, I was worried that "Smith" was too common a name and sought to distinguish by using "Cynthia Leitich Smith" as my byline.

When Greg's first book sold, he adopted "Greg Leitich Smith" as a byline in suit.

In private life, we're still Cynthia L. Smith and Greg H. Leitich.

As authors, we're Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. So, I guess you could say we took each others' names for business reasons. How's that for a twenty-first century twist on romance in the workplace?

Did you and your husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, meet through the children's writing community?

No, we met as first-year students at the University of Michigan Law School. Greg still practices patent law.

What are Greg's books?

NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO by Greg Leitich Smith (Little Brown, 2003, 2005)(Recorded Books, 2004) and TOFU AND T. REX by Greg Leitich Smith (Little Brown, 2005). Visit his official author Web site for more information.

Greg is also my co-author for SANTA KNOWS, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman)(Dutton, 2006).