Friday, April 6, 2012

Elicia Seawell: What's in a name?

I'd like to welcome another Rebel writer Elicia Seawell.  She's talking about how she names her characters.

I can name a town, place, city, state, etc with no problem when coming up with a story idea however the one problem I have is character names. My Twitter feed is constantly filled with me asking people for advice on names for characters.

I’ve found a sure fire way to make sense of it all. It’s simple to find/use and you probably have one if you have kids. Baby’s name books are an amazing source for ideas. I especially like the ones that come with the definitions of names. If I am writing a character that is strong, fearless and headstrong then I try to find a name that coincides with the characterization of the person or persons I’m portraying.

Let’s take my main character in “Peach River Acres” (coming soon from Rebel Ink Press). Dean Hartman is a strong but fragile character. He’s been through a ton after suffering from PTSD caused by the Iraqi/Afghanistan war. He’s also from the South so I tried to choose a name that portrayed a southern strong name. Dean is hands down my favorite character and a lot of his personality comes from my own husband. He’s willing to do anything for the people he loves. I stole his last name from my husband’s best friend. I try to keep some of the people close to me in my books. It’s like a little nod to them.

Then let’s take Charlie Weston in “The Tarot Diaries” series (also coming soon from Rebel Ink Press).  He’s a carpenter, great with his hands and I’ve always loved the name Charlie. It just seems like a laid back, relaxed name. I gave him the last name Weston because a close friend of mine said it would be perfect to match and he was right. I take a lot of input from friends and family on names. They usually come up with better names than I could.

I do like it when authors come up with creative names that I would have never thought of. I especially like when the name’s historical or names that have been combined to create new names. So don’t be surprised if you are on my Twitter feed ( and I’m begging for names. Even though my baby name book is full of them, I like input. It makes me closer and more interactive with my readers.

If you'd like to know more about my guest and what she has coming out check out her blog!

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