Naming Characters by Leia Shaw: Guest Post and $25 Amazon/B&N Giftcard and Ebook Giveaway!
Posted by Krystal Larson at 4:00 AM Wednesday, July 11, 2012
$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Giftcard and Ebook to One INTERNATIONAL/USA/CAN Winner! Thank you all for stopping by, please leave a comment with your email.
Most of the time, writing a novel is hard work. It’s lonely and frustrating and you often need the patience of a saint. The best part is the brainstorming. I spend a lot of time thinking – while driving, while in the shower, while watching my kids at the park. I build worlds and form characters and invent romantic lines. But my favorite part, the most fun part, is picking character names!
I always put a lot of thought into a name. Especially since many of my characters are very old and come from different parts of the world. Their names need to reflect that, as well as fit who they are as a person. In my second book, Destiny United, Marcelo was an 800 year old vampire from Castile – modern day Spain. And the heroine is an Irish fae named Aila, which means “from a strong place.” In book three, Destiny Unchained, werewolf pack alpha Cristian, is from Romania. Cristian, with that spelling, was a common name in that area. Plus his mother was very religious so it fit his history.
In Destiny Bewitched, the hero’s name is Geo and the heroine is Samantha. Honestly, Geo just came to me and stuck, for no other reason than he just felt like a Geo. He’s a temporary demon that comes from a different realm so his ancestry didn’t matter so much. Normally I have a more complicated process. Samantha is a typical American girl. Her mother was human so I thought about names that were popular in the early 80’s. Samantha fit because it could be shortened to Sam and she’s a bit of a tomboy.
Even more fun to choose is the adorable pet names my heroes call their ladies. I love pet names. And each of my heroes calls their woman something a little different. In Destiny Bewitched, it’s “dove.”
He couldn’t understand why but he had to touch her then. Snatching her hand in his, he gave it a squeeze. “You’ll survive, dove. I won’t let anything hurt you.”
I also enjoy using the character’s native language from time to time when expressing something romantic to the heroine. Here’s an example from Destiny Bewitched.
A heart-breaking smile stretched across his face when he turned from the cauldron. “Samantha, sfagéa to̱n lýko̱n, me ti̱n omorfiá kai ti̱ fo̱tiá.” He held out the bowl full of soup and she snatched it from his hand before she could remember her manners.
“I don’t speak Greek,” she told him between mouthfuls of her meal. “What did you say?”
“Samantha, slayer of wolves, with beauty and fire.” His gaze fell on her hair.
Unruly orange curls had plagued her all her life. It was hardly beautiful, especially with the suffocating humidity of the Underworld. She probably looked like a poofy tabby cat that got stuck under a hand dryer. Still, heat spread to her cheeks at the compliment.
In Destiny Bewitched, we meet a dark fae prince named Aedan. The fae are from Ireland so I needed a name from there as well as something that fit his unique personality. For this laid-back, unapologetic prince banished to the Underworld, I asked my fans to help name him. I put several choices on a poll and people voted. Aedan came out the victor! They did a great job because it fits him perfectly. And he’ll have his own book next year.
Well I hope that was interesting enough to entice you to read my books. I can guarantee you’ll smile, sigh, maybe cry, definitely laugh, and fall in love with my characters. Thanks for having me!
Deemed “trailer trash” by humans and the daughter of the most disgraceful family of witches and warlocks since the Puritan age, Samantha is used to fighting her own battles. When her younger sister is taken to the Underworld, Sam doesn't hesitate to rescue her. To survive the harsh land, she makes a deal with a demon — the most dangerous of creatures in the realm. Even with those lustrous horns, Geo is as hot as the hell she's stuck in. Fighting nasty beasts in a supernatural version of the gladiator games is easy compared to falling in love with a man who has no future to offer.
Finally, the piece she’d been fiddling with on the tape player clicked into place. She pressed play and turned up the volume. When music flowed from the small but effective speakers, she gave Geo an I-told-you-so look.
His wide eyes told her he’d probably never heard music come from a machine before. She recognized the song. I Put a Spell on You by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Somebody in the Underworld liked 70’s rock. Go figure.
“I love this song.” She placed the tape player on the bed and stood up, feeling a little reckless, a little free. Must be the wine.
The lead singer’s throaty voice and the heavy beat fit the dim room. The song was gritty and raw just like the Underworld. She looked at Geo, laid back in the chair all big and bad, strong and silent. He’d never looked so sexy.
Definitely the wine.
“Dance with me,” she commanded.
His brows lifted.
“Come on.” She grabbed his hand and tugged.
With a smirk, he let her pull him to his feet.
“Just put your hands here and here.” She guided his hands to her hip and shoulder but he yanked out of her grip.
“I know how to dance, woman,” he growled. Then he plopped both hands on her low back, just above her backside, and yanked her up against his body.
I began my writing journey while I was stranded at the airport waiting for my delayed flight. I browsed the Border’s kiosk and grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the “it factor” — the perfect combination of alpha male-ness, ass-kickery, strong females, magic, and sex.
So I spent the next four hours on an airplane writing my first book on scraps of paper and an airsick bag (which thankfully I didn't need to use).
Now I spend too much time in my head, plotting evil villains and the hot men (and women) who ruthlessly kill them. I think far too much about fae politics, dragon power games, and how fast werewolves can change forms. But writing my paranormal romance series has given me a productive place to express those dark places in my mind.
I live in New England with my husband and two kids. Though I will go to my grave denying it, my husband insists I would be thrilled if he suddenly sprouted fangs.
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