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Name
Andrea K Höst
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ObjectID: 79994
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From the Author's Website:

Born in Sweden and raised (mostly) in Townsville (Australia), I currently live in Sydney (because that's where the paying job is). My time is divided between earning a crust, playing video games, reading (novels, manga, the interweb), gardening, and dragging string about for my cats to chase. Somewhere among all that I write novels.

My ambition is to possess a self-earning crust, so that I can spend more time writing, and so that I can buy a property in the country and plant lots of trees that go fun colours in Autumn.

The cats are called Cinnamon and Pepper, I have three maples so far, and the house in the country is probably going to have to hold off until retirement.

What's in a name?

My family name is Höst (pronounced "Hurst"). Yet the name my immediate family goes by is Hösth (also pronounced "Hurst" but generally pronounced by strangers as "Host-thffff...umm?" and other valiant variations). I only recently learned the explanation for this complication.

My great-grandfather in Sweden was a knekt (Jack or Knave) in the military. Like many other people in Sweden, his name was based on the old naming custom for sons to inherit their father's first name and make it into a surname, eg. Andersson, Svensson, Pettersson, Johansson, Gustafsson, Nilsson, etc.

This naturally caused some complications when joining the military as so many people had the same names, so to distinguish between the knektarna, the conscripts would get "knave names". And those were usually picked from nature, like Autumn (Höst), Birch (Björk), or combinations like Autumnbirch. Many of them would then keep their "knave names" when returning home.

However, my grandmother felt that Höst didn't look dignified enough on paper, so she added an "h". Hösth. Adding the "h" made it a tad more foreign, and foreign or otherwise fancified spellings of names were a sign of nobility. So the simple name of a season became the slightly uncommon Hösth which could be viewed as a knight's name. In the old church records it still says "Höst" though.

I use the "Hösth" spelling still in everyday life, but to save readers attempting the tongue-twister it appears to present, I drop the second 'h' for my publishing name.

Of course, many people may now pronounce "Höst" as "host", but at least won't look so puzzled while doing so.

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