I chose the name Robert Bast for writing on topics that could negatively affect my family or career, had I stuck with my real name. However because I chose it pre-Internet, it was impossible for me to tell if the name was unique. With just a single Bast surname in the Auckland White Pages I figured I wouldn’t be stepping on anyone’s toes.
Turns out there are at least two prominent people with the same name:
Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D - Vice President for Translational Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor Robert Bast (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), who studies Christian culture in medieval and early modern Europe, with special interests in late-medieval and Reformation Germany.
My apologies! Hijacking your name was never my intention.
But why Bast? Well when I chose it (in my twenties) my favourite authors included J.G Ballard, Richard Bach & Clive Barker. Because I was planning on writing fiction as well, I had hoped to one day appear directly beside them on the shelves of bookstores. And because I was interested in ancient Egypt, and my favourite animal was my cat Topsy, I chose Bast - the ancient Egyptian goddess of protection and cats.