As an author, naming characters can be either a pain or a joy. It’s not unusual to see a book of baby names on the shelf of a writer; it’s where we go when we’re desperate. Oh, and cemeteries and the birth section of the newspaper are also terrific mining sites!
You see, most characters don’t come to us named. They come to us the same way our children do: a ready-made person with his or her own needs and personality, and they expect us to find them an appropriate moniker. Sometimes it’s easier than others.
I myself am very picky about names, probably because they have such meaning to me. Having a very unusual name has tremendous impact on a person, and I assume that having a very common name has its own set of challenges. So when I meet a new character, one of the first things I do is jot down his or her name, because if I don’t write that story right away, it will drive me crazy if I can’t remember the name.
In The King Series, almost all of the names have meaning. Tasmyn is an interesting story. She actually began as Tamsyn, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I switched the letters and liked it better. I only discovered much later the meaning of her name, and how eerily it fit into the story as it was already written. Pretty cool.
Michael was thus named because it fit his personality–and I learned later that he was named after an archangel. I loved his parents’ names, too–they just fit them.
Nell came to me with her name, but after she had read the first draft of Fearless, my sister pointed out that her name might have some personal history for me after all! Sometimes these things are more subconscious than we know.
Waiting in the wings, in upcoming books, are Jackie and Lucas, and Sam. . .Carly and Russ and Jake. . .Jesse, Abby and Nat (oh, THAT is a good story. . .).
So what’s in a name? More than you might think.