Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eenie, meenie, miney... Moe?

I've been asked a few times how I think of the character names in my books, especially in Last Call. Out of all the names out there, how did I come up with Novalee? Well, I didn't come up with it. I heard it in a movie years ago and totally fell in love with it. Now, since I've convinced myself I will never have a girl, I needed to use that name somewhere; it couldn't just sit on a list unused.

You know that list of favourite baby names almost all women seem to have? They have more than one purpose. Usually they're a list of names that you would like to use for children. Since my baby days are over - okay, I hear the snickers..... I'm, like, 99.9% sure my baby days are over. Happy? - my  list of favourite baby names went from future children to future characters. And really, it's all the same thing since I feel like my characters are my children in a way. Very naughty children.

I now have two lists. One is of names that I really, really like but probably would never use on my own children because they're either too unique (IMO) or just wouldn't sound good with my last name. So those are the names that I use for my characters. Unique names are much more accepted in fictional books than real life it seems, and I can make up whatever last name I want to go with them. 

My other list are of names that I love and, despite saying I'm done having kids, I still can't get myself to use them. If I did and then had more kids I would feel weird using a name that I used on a character. Except for my current character's name, Kennedy. I adore this name, and even though I'm using it in book number two, I would still use it for my daughter in a heartbeat. But, I'm not having girls so moving on...

I also try to not use names of people that I know. That just weirds me out, too. I don't want someone I know to read my books and think, "Hey, she named this character after me," or after some mutual person we both know. And I try to stay away from names that are in popular books. The names used in Twilight? Yeah, there's a very good chance they will never be seen in anything I write because a person reads it and automatically thinks, "Oh, she got that name from _____".

Sometimes it takes me forever to think of the perfect name to use. If I have an idea of what the character looks like, or their personality, I need a name that I feel suits all that to a T. Other times a name just comes to me and it fits no matter what. I do try and choose something that I know I'll want to keep throughout the whole book and not want to change, because if I do change it then I have to go back and change everything about the character. And that is time consuming, not to mention a complete pain in the ass. But it's just one of my quirks.

Would you be surprised to learn my oldest son, Hayden, is named after a character in a book I read eight years ago?

So that just leaves me with one question: you've read Dean and Novalee's story. Are you ready for Memphis and Kennedy's?


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