Okay, I'll answer this question: lots of letters. Check it out: Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Lots of letters. Looks simple enough though, doesn't it? But, boy, it's caused me some grief over the years.
First, I always have to spell my name for sound checks for radio and television interviews. My name is grueling to spell, especially my last name. When I say "f", people think I'm saying 's', so I always say: "'f' like Frank". They still put 's' (like Srank?)
I started off signing my books Cheryl Kaye Tardif, until my hand started to ache. No one seemed to notice when I started leaving off the Kaye.
Sometimes I get people who call me "Cheryl Kaye", like my name is similar to "Billie-Jo" or "Mary-Anne". Is the "Kaye" part of my first name or an invisible middle name?
Here's the story: Kaye is my maiden name. No, I didn't hypenate my two last names. I've used it only for writing--because I always said that it was the original Cheryl Kaye who is the writer, as opposed to the wife and mother Cheryl Tardif. Well, it made sense to me back then.
So now I'm considering pulling a Koontz. You know, a Dean Koontz. He's one of my favorite suspense authors, but when I first started reading him decades ago, his author name was "Dean R. Koontz". I guess he got tired of that "R" in the middle.
Out of curiosity, I'd like to take a poll. I'll post it next. Then you can answer my poll and tell me what my author name should be.
~Cheryl...or maybe CT Rowling...or Stephanie King?