I chose Robin Hobb because I wanted an androgynous first name. In the US, that spelling of Robin can be either a female or male name. I also liked all the baggage that came with the name, with resonances from everything from Robin Hood to Robin Goodfellow. The ‘Hobb’ part was harder to come by; I wanted something short that would fit well on a book jacket, and go well with the Robin part. Hobb has all sorts of resonances with people, from hobgoblin to hobbit, but I will admit it was a last minute choice, made without too much thought, when my agent phoned me and told me that he had to have the name very soon.