The Story Behind the Pen Name!!

T. Carlos Anderson?! Really? The author of Just a Little Bit More is someone named T. Carlos?! Everyone, including family and good friends, knows me as Tim. Well, let me explain . . .

ta book
Tim or T. Carlos Anderson??

When I was in high school, there was another student, a year younger than me, named Tim Anderson. My fellow Tim was a decent guy, a bit shorter than me. I played basketball and he played baseball, so our paths were mostly separate. When I was in seminary, there was a fellow student, a year or two older, named Tim Anderson. In the seminary student directory, spouse names were included parenthetically after the student names. One year the Tim Anderson wives were switched, an innocuous type of paper wife-swapping at the theological institution.

Now, years later, in the process of writing Just a Little Bit More, I spent some time studying author pages. Guess how many Tim Andersons are selling books on Amazon? At least seven sprinkled here and there between the sixteen pages that come up under an author name search. My middle name is Carl – my dad’s name. T.C. Anderson has a nice ring to it . . . sorry, already taken.

In the late 1980s, we lived in Peru for two years. There my (true) wife Denise and I learned el Espanol. I was there as a seminary intern, practicing the pastoral arts albeit in the foreign language that I consistently graded out with C’s during high school (because I couldn’t have cared less about it – but that’s a different story for another day, pues). My North American colleagues assured me when we arrived that the name Timoteo would serve me well during our South American stay. Timoteo was biblical and it had a lyrical ring to it. One day after having logged a year or so in the land of los Incas, a taxi driver and I struck up a conversation in his cab. I loved learning Spanish by conversing – a daily challenge, like a fun verbal word puzzle, no homework to scribble out. We got on well and after awhile he asked my name. When he heard me say Timoteo, he laughed. Hombre, aqui en el Peru el nombre Timoteo es un nombre para gatos y perros. “Hey buddy, here in Peru the name Timoteo is a name we use for cats and dogs.” From that moment on, I went by a new name – my middle name in Spanish form – Carlos.

So there you have it. T. Carlos Anderson isn’t a complete fabrication. The honesty of that taxi driver saved me, during my last year in Peru, from a bit of cultural verguenza – a combination of shame and embarrassment. And, unknowingly, he gave the future author a working pen name and a memorable story to share. Just a Little Bit More is now available as an ebook on, and I’m the only author you’ll find there named T. Carlos Anderson! For those of you gifted with a unique name – not used for pets – I’m pleased to be welcomed to your world.


The second edition paperback version of Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good is available through, ACTA Publications, Chicago, IL, and through the Amazon, iTunes, and Nook websites.


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