I'm very excited to be hosting Ana Blaze, author of A LATE THAW (also the author of my favorite story in the LOVE AND OTHER GAMES anthology)! Take it away, Ana!
On Naming Characters.
One of my favorite parts of developing a story is choosing names for my characters. I suspect I spend about as much time researching and considering the options as many prospective parents do. That makes sense because, in many ways, the characters are a piece of me. Not to get too sappy about it, but I am the one that gives them life. They’re my babies and I don’t want to saddle them with an unflattering or inappropriate moniker. So I consider several things before settling on name.
First I try to match the name with the personality. A more formal character, someone who is maybe a bit introverted and uses an impressive vocabulary might need a classic, reliable name. I’m thinking about William, Catherine, Matthew, Nicholas, Emma or Sarah. A more, shall we say colorful, character--the type of person who people describe as walking to the beat of their own drum--would be better suited with an unusual name. I like names that come from myths and legends for these folks, like Maeve, Cassiopeia and Tristan.
Next I consider when and where a character was born. A two hundred year old Victorian vampire named Zoey wouldn’t make as much sense as one named Josephine or Winnifred would. Even when dealing modern characters place can have a great influence on name. A man born in the southern part of the United States could have a very different name from one born in Scotland or Australia.
As a strangely specific example, take the name Brayden. It was the 15th most popular boys’ name in Alabama last year. It was 13th in Kentucky. It wasn’t even in the top 100 in Washington DC.
So I do some research--The official Social Security website is great for checking popularity of specific names in various places in the US over the past fifty years. In 1965 it didn’t matter if you were born in Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut or Indianna--there was very good chance your name was Lisa. There is also no shortage of baby name meaning sites.
Which brings me to the next thing I consider. I do like to choose names that have meanings that suit the characters. For example, Abigail would be a lovely name for a character with a close relationship with her father as it means father’s joy. In A Late Thaw I chose an ironic name, Kiley, for my main female character. Kiley means graceful, but the character is known to be rather klutzy.
Finally, I like to say the names aloud and together. Yeah-I test them out like a twelve year old girl with a crush would.
Kiley and Cole 2gether 4ever!
Beth + Colin= True Love
Are there any names you love or hate to see used in romances? Which ones? Tell me in the comments.
Haha! I love it! Check out more from Ana in A LATE THAW!
Title: A LATE THAW
Author: Ana Blaze
Publisher: Entranced Publishing
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 57 pages (novella)
Release Date: October 28th, 2013
Blurb:The town’s too small for Kiley St. Claire’s reappearance to be a surprise, still seeing her hits Cole Thomas like a punch to the gut. She ripped his heart apart when she turned to ice and ran away all those years ago. Now that she’s back, Cole’s going to say his piece and move on.