I have fellow Wild Rose Press author SUSABELLE KELMER visiting today to share her debut novel FAIREST OF THE FAIRE! Susabelle is also sharing about the her character name selection process. Please help make her feel welcome!
Guest Post: What’s in a Name?
I want to thank Abigail for hosting me today on her blog. My debut release, Fairest of the Faire, was published by The Wild Rose Press earlier this month (more about that later). Today, I thought I’d talk about “what’s in a name.”
We were all born and given a name, one way or the other, for good or for bad. Sometimes we feel like our name fits, and sometimes we feel like it belongs to someone else. But that’s the name we get, and most of the time, we keep it and use it throughout our lifetimes. I was given a traditional name at birth, but not one that had been in our family or had any kind of history. It was just a traditional, albeit common, name for the time period I was born in. I have never felt like my name didn’t fit me. I still use the name today, with no reservations.
When I pick names for my characters, I try to pick names that fit them, as well. Sometimes those names reflect their heritage, as in the case of Gage Youngblood, the hero of Fairest of the Faire. He needed a strong name, but also one that showed his Native American roots. I thought the name fit him very well, and it felt easy to say if I said it out loud, the way my heroine would.
For my heroine, I chose a name that was long, but could be shortened for a nickname. The name Constance Meyers defined her character – she was steadfast and caring, and somewhat old-fashioned, having been raised by a spinster elder auntie. Everyone called her Connie, although Gage only calls her by name one time in the book. He had other more appropriate nicknames for her once he had decided she was going to be his.
Names are important. I give my characters names that are easy to pronounce, because even when you are reading in your head, you are pronouncing the names. There is nothing worse than an unpronounceable name! But more importantly, I give my characters names that fit them, that describe or show their personality. I find names in many ways, when I can’t think of one (which is often). I use a big baby name book, an old white pages that I kept (does anyone even have these anymore?), and sometimes google names of a certain nationality or that start with a certain letter.
My question for you: Do you like the name you were gifted with when you were born? If not, why not? Tell me in the comments!
FAIREST OF THE FAIRE
The renaissance fair is filled with characters and romance, but will it end in storybook love?
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
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“Who said anything about a relationship?” he said, standing up so he could tower over her again. “I’m just trying to have a little fun. You know, fun?”
If he’d been an animal, she was sure he’d have had hair raised on the back of his neck, he seemed so angry, and it struck her painfully. She hadn’t wanted to anger him or hurt him. She turned away from him and closed her eyes to tamp down the tears she knew would come if she let them. She crossed her arms over her chest, to hold in the pain. Being tired made her much too vulnerable.
“Yes,” she finally said. “I know about fun. Life isn’t always fun, though.”
“Princess.” His voice was soft, tender. “I won’t hurt you. It’s not in my plan.”
Despite herself, she felt the shivers of desire race down from her shoulders, down her arms and legs, and back up to that secret, soft place at her core. She bowed her head and gritted her teeth, hoping for the feeling to go away.
“And what is your plan, Gage?”
“It’s a simple plan. I want you to feel good. I want to feel good, too.”
About the Author:
Susabelle Kelmer is a wife and mother living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. She believes in romance, second chances, and the magic of moonlight. When she isn’t writing, she works with students with disabilities in the college environment. http://www.susabelle.com
Susabelle’s tagline: Love is Everything.
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- Theme: Second Chance Love
- SubGenre: Contemporary
- Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
- Imprint: Champagne
- Rating: Spicy (PG13)
- Keywords: romance, contemporary romance, widow, Renaissance Faire
- Page Count: 296
- Digital Price: 4.99
- Print Price (if applicable): 15.99
- ISBN/ASN: 978-1509201679/B00XCXYLSO
Terrific post. Sizzling excerpt : ) Thank you for sharing
Thanks, Allison! There is quite a bit of heat between Gage and Connie! 🙂
I use a lot of the same methods you do, but get stuck choosing names with the same first letter and end up having to change some.
My mother thought my name was special because it was the only one my father had insisted on for their four daughters. Years later we discovered that his girlfriend had suggested it. It wasn’t so special anymore. Oh well, I’m still okay with it.
Oh, Sandy, that’s terrible. 🙁 Men can be so dumb. But still, I think you wear your “Sandy” well, so it’s not all bad, right? I was named Susan because that’s what my mom wanted. It was a popular name at that time because of some television/movie stars, but she insists that had nothing to do with it. She was young, though. LOL I don’t use my birth name much these days, as I adopted my nickname a long time ago, and it kind of “stuck.”
Sadly that’s not the first girlfriend naming story I’ve heard. But, we make our names our own, and I love Sandra as a name. 🙂
OUCH. I was named after my dad’s ex-girlfriend, luckily one he dated before my mom, though!
I was named Rebecca because my mother insisted it was more proper or something. However, my father would have been happy with just Becky. For a brief period when I was a kid I insisted on being called Rebecca however, that didn’t last long. Now if you want me to answer you, call me Becky. I totally agree with my father. Becky is just fine. Rebecca is just too formal sounding. I am just Becky.
Unless, of course if I am writing. Then I am Pansy Petal. 😉 A name that stems from my crafting business call Pansy Rose Creations. A name that is completely misunderstood. The name Pansy has acquired a less than stellar reputation, in my opinion totally undeserved. The Pansy, as a flower is a strong, resilient flower that will survive almost all season with the minimum of care. Why it has come to signify the weak and/or bumbling idiot I do not know, and frankly don’t care. For me, it is my favorite flower and I am proud to call myself Pansy.
Pansy is a perfectly fine name. They are one of the flowers you can put out when freezes and frosts are still happening. They are so cheerful and remind you that at some point, summer WILL come back. I live in a cold climate along the Rocky Mountains and so those pansies are what cheer me up in those dark last days of winter/early spring!
Pansys are my favorite flowers. So I love the name. 🙂
Thanks for hosting me today, Abigail! This was a fun post to write.
Loved having you. Come back any time! 🙂
Great post. Naming characters can drive me nuts, especially Native American names! I think I must be named one of the most popular names of my time. Susan. In jr. High, the home economics class (yeah, dated myself) I was one of 14 Sue’s (susan, suzan, suzie, sue etc). i have to admit, I like Susabelle a lot!
As one of many Susans (I was born in 1961) I did not stand out. There were lots of us, I believe because of Susan Heyward. And there were also a lot o Debbies, because of Debbie Reynolds. Just like today there are Aryas and Emmas. 🙂 Susabelle came to me from a former coworker some 30 years ago now. She would call me that name in the cubicle farm we worked in (there were two other Susans). It stuck.