08 November 2012

What's in a Name?

This Blog Hop is supposed to be about Autumn.  I love autumn.  The temperature drops from the hot days to cool nights, making us snuggle down into sweaters and jackets.  The rainy days offers us a chance to curl up next to the window with hot chocolate or with a sweetheart under the blankets.  It's the start of holiday cheer, good cooking, and singing Christmas hymns (because, of course, Christmas starts the day after Halloween now).  

But I decided to blog about something different.  I've had on my mind how I pick names.  Picking names for characters are one of my favorite things whenever I start a new story.  Names are just as important as the story itself.  So to celebrate Autumn...and my being able to bring out my Thanksgiving Day sweaters...here's my blog on names:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

 Arguably, one of the most famous scenes in literature, Shakespeare knew the art of names.  Naming a character is like naming a child.  You have to find the right combination of first and last names to match characteristics, looks, intelligence and character background.  And it can be a long process. 

Just imagine this line, “Buddy, Buddy, where for art thou Buddy?”.  It’s just doesn’t have the same impact.  Now imagine Edward Cullen.  The name ‘Edward’ has a certain ring to it, a noble quality, while the character of Edward Cullen is gentlemanly, cultivated, and distinguished.  The name fits with who he is, where he came from, and the time period he was born. 

And not only do writers have to figure all that in, but we have to be aware that some names are new creations.  For instance, the name Vanessa was “invented” by the author Jonathan Swift in the early 1700’s, so if you happen to be writing a piece set in the 1600’s then the name would be anachronistic. 

I have a hard time, just like every other writer, finding that one name that jumps out at me to define the character I have in my head.  But I tend to get my names from unusual places.  For instance, in my book Spirals, the two heroes are Tobias Noble and Orion West… which are all street names in LA County.  Even my heroine, Kaori, got her last name from a street in El Segundo, California.  In Kismet, the sequel to Spirals, Evie’s last name is a surgical instrument!  A writer will never know where inspiration will strike.

Names that have strong syllables usually bring to mind strong heroes.  For instance, John or Luke or Max.  Each name brings to mind a certain man: John Wayne, Luke Skywalker or Mad Max.  Most writers will go with a strong name over something more…odd.  Eustace probably won’t usually be a hero’s name, at least not in romance books, although he was an excellent Anti-hero hero in Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

Each one of my heroes have names that are special to me.  My give-a-way is any of my listed books to the side!  Just leave a comment on a hero's name you love, be it book, film, tv or any other type of media.  I will pick one winner at random for a free PDF on any one of my titles, winners choice, so be sure to leave a way to contact you!  Thanks so much for visiting and be sure to hop to the others on the list for more prizes!


  1. I like strong names like Adam,Eric,David for example. Not a big fan of make up type names.annpa@gmail.com

  2. I have never really thought about the names in the books I read. I like to be able to mentally pronounce them. I sorta like them to be a little unusual, not Tom, Mike, etc.

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  3. Autumn is my favorite season! Thank you for the giveaway!

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. I like Acheron (from my fave series The Dark Hunters)


  5. Just finished Devoured by Emily Snow so Lucas is in my mind!


  6. I adore autumn because of the amazing colors, bundling up in sweaters, Halloween and my birthday! Autumn also means cuddling up with a good book and a cup of cocoa!


    I love the hops cause of all the awesome new books I find to add to my to read list!

  7. I like a name that is masculine and not super common. That is getting harder to come up with all the time. Carin
    mawmom at gmail dot com

  8. I love reading about things that go bump in the night this time of year. Thanks for the fun!


  9. I like uncommon names. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  10. From Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series: Bones & Spade
    From Lori Foster's Edge of Honor series: Dare, Trace, Jackson, & Spencer
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  11. Sean Connery for movies (you can't go wrong with a Bond flix)
    In books I would have to go with one Lori Foster Characters: Trace


  12. Jericho Barron's


  13. Dmitri Belikov- Vampire Academy


  14. My current faves are Curran from Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, Terrible from Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series, and Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series -- These guys are so hot they don't NEED last names!! lol

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  15. I like strong classic names, though occasionally tempered by experience with real life. For example, due to some (lovely but decidedly unheroic) friends, I simply can't get into a hero named Mike. I'm sure authors have the same problem, hence the unusual names.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  16. I always like the name "Victor" for heroes. A winning name for sure! It's fairly common, so I see it a lot. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  17. I play with names whenever I can for my stories. One of my heroes is Drake Carver, an ornithologist. My cake decorator heroine in another book is named Piper Frost. One of my WIP's follows a singer on the mend and her name is Shasta Kovich. Fun. terrimuhich(at)yahoo(dot)com.

  18. Love the cooler weather.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  19. I like the name Lucas.
    bituin76 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  20. A character's name that I love? Dracula. Catherine Bennett. Jay Gatsby. Rumpelstiltskin. Yossarian. Bond, James Bond. All unforgettable names.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  21. I like the name Dyson (from the TV show Lost Girl). I just have to tell myself to not think about vacuums when I say his name...

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com

  22. I love the name Roarke!
    I love the cooler weather and changing colors of the leaves in autumn. Thanks for the chance!

  23. I have no particular hero in my mind right now. I do love old and bibical names. Like Jacob,Josuah, Josiah, Caleb. Names like that.


  24. My favorite thing about Autumn/Fall is the changing color of the leaves, orange, yellow, red, even purple. They are so pretty. My least favorite thing is raking up those pretty leaves. LOL I love to curl up by the fire and read a hot romance book on a cold fall evening. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  25. I like the name Luke for my book hero!

    I love the fall because of the football games and tailgating with friends and family! And of course having a campfire with roasted hotdogs! Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

  26. I different types of names. My favorite hero and his awesome name is Wraith from the Demonica series by Lorissa Ione.


  27. Sebastian, Christain, and Leland (this is unique name)

    Thanks sharing the interesting post.


  28. Interesting post.

    I love the colors in Autumn. Thanks for the giveaway!
    lisarayns at gmail dot com

  29. I really like Sebastian, Benjamin and Colin. Also Rourke, mostly because of the In Death series, but I've seen it pop up in a few other books recently. Thanks for the giveaway!

    JYL22075 at gmail dot com

  30. I love the name Brennan or any of the New Species from Laurann Dohner's series.


  31. Certain names just lend themselves to particular type of characters. Some are for heros and some are for the villians. Thanks for being part of the blog hop!

  32. Thanks for sharing! Its a fun hop!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com