Naming characters is one of the first jobs I have as a writer, and you can blame it on Paulo Freire, but I think the act of naming is a powerful one. If the characters could name themselves I would let them, but since they can’t I have to take that job very seriously. That is to say, I take it very seriously with my main characters. My romantic leads always have something strong that ties them to their names. Ash was so named because she was the remnants of something that once burned brightly, but was now reduced to going through the motions. Parker was named because she had the looks and wit of Mary Louise Parker. Beth was named for a beloved librarian who was killed by a drunk driver. Rory/Raine used her names to designate the split sides of her identity. I put tons of thought into my principle characters’ names, and to be honest with you it can be a lot of work, so by the time I work my way down to naming the side characters I just don’t have much energy left to be quite so clever.
I’ve heard all the tricks other authors use for names, and I’ve tried a few of them, i.e. movie credits, obituaries, baby name books, but it gets tedious to sift through all those things every time your character goes to a meeting or runs into a neighbor at the store. So this time I decided to do something more fun. I picked a common theme, something near and dear to my heart, and I tied all of the secondary characters to that thing. In fact, I got everyone associated with that thing named inThe Long Way Home one way or another. What is that thing? Well, I’m going to ask you!
Can you find the commonality among my side characters’ names? I’m going to give you all one week to give me your most complete answer to this question. Whoever gives me the best answer will win a free autographed copy of any one of my books. If more than one person gives me a completely perfect answer (i.e. lists who everyone is named for and what they have in common) I’ll draw one name out of a hat.
Here’s a few hints,
1) This doesn’t come out of nowhere if you know me even a little bit.
2) Almost every proper name in the books (with 3 exceptions) is tied to this commonality by either the first or last name, and sometimes both.
3) If you figure out the commonality, you should be able to find every name for that thing listed somewhere in the book.
And if you still need a copy of The Long Way Home you can get it here. http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Long-Way-Home,-The-%252d-by-Rachel-Spangler
Happy Hunting! I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, October 31st.