Thursday, 24 March 2011


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) Bill Shakespeare.

Are names important? You bet. A name is often our first connection to someone and, as we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, we often sum people by their name - until we get to know them a little better, of course.
Elmer - sorry for any Elmers out there but conjures up an image of a Louisiana moonshine swamp boy.

Rupert: A Lord Byron wannabee popinjay with Robert Pattison hair {quite nice image. actually}

John: Strong, dependable, hardworking family man. Think The Walton’s and you’ll get my drift.

Henry: Hurrah – speaks for itself. Green wellies and fox-hunting.

And on to the ladies
Drizella: ugly – as in sister. Heaving bosom and as string of pearls. Probably gives singing lessons in a Victorian parlor.

Fiona: A wee Scottish lady in a tweed shirt and walking stick, a basket of heather and oatcakes in her hand. Probably secretly yearns for a good rutting session on the moors with her secret love, Jamie

Cassandra: Ooooh cool ice-queen. Poised, super-intelligent and most likely possessing the gift of foreseeing the future. I can see her in cool ivory linen, a cloche hat on a precision cut Nordic blonde bob.

When I choose names for my heroes, I like to go for the short and snappy and traditional but also a name that will command attention; a name that will conjure up sexy but dependable, intelligent. Daniel, David, James, Michael. For my ladies, again I tend to go for the old-fashioned. Rachel, Sarah, Rebecca. I love names that end in ‘a’, that can be shortened. Isabella – Izzie. Elysianna – Ellie. Cassandra – Cassie.
A name must trip lightly from a readers lips, a sensual caress to the inner ear.

As for book titles, sometimes they come to me in a flash. Other times, I will lie awake all night long, fretting that I will never find anything to make me happy. I usually try to have a title tie in with one line form my story.
Written in Stone “Stranger things have happened. Nothing is written in stone, Jamie.”
So, folks, just remember; a writer's life is not an easy one. Decisions, decisions and please - choose your childrens'names wisely....



  1. I agree completely with you about names. I tend to choose the same types of names for my heroes. Although, I will admit my characters generally name themselves.

  2. I like your thoughts on naming characters. If I can't think of a name for a character, I feel like I don't know him or her, and it forces me to halt all progress until I find the right name! I've tried to write using placeholder letters, but it never works for me. :)

  3. LOL Fiona was the name of the heroine in my first book. I didn't quite envisage her in a tweed shirt, although she definitely yearned for passion!

  4. Don't worry, Megan. I have a Fiona somewhere too. My post was tongue in cheek - apart from the Elmers, of course.I agree about not being able to continue unles Ihave the right name. oh we are a funny lot, we authors


  5. I believe the most interesting names are in Regencies, although I don't write them. I would love to see what my characters come up with for names if that were the case.

  6. LOL I also laughed at Fiona - it seems quite a nice name to me... :) Rupert, makes me think of Rupert Bear - also there is the other end of the scale - the posher side of Rupert as in Everett. Both sport the same glaringly loud trousers though. ;-)

    Here's my latest blog hop post! :)


  7. Choosing a child's name is very important. There are bullying issues to keep in mind. Will your child's name some day get their butt kicked? :P

    Not such a worry with characters, but still I like the idea of the old-fashioned, commanding names. There's something to be said for simplicity.

    ~ D. Renee Bagby

  8. Sometimes I hear a name and I say why? Who were your parents and why were they so very cruel???


  9. Viv, I know that names are very important. My character's names just pop up when I start writing and I have no idea why they are there. But rarely or never have I had to change any.:)

    Speaking of parents who named their children without any idea of their future, I once taught a family of 6 children. One of them was named Veblena. Another was named Finalya. Another was named Krishna. The girl who was named Veblena had no idea why she was named like this. The parents were of that '70s generation and thought it was so cool.