Hey everybody! I know it's been way too long since my last blog post and I'm so sorry. My agent (eeek! I'll never get over how exciting it is to say that) and I are anxiously awaiting word back from the ten (!!!) publishers we've submitted to so far. Of course, I'll keep you guys updated as we hear back.
While we wait though, I still wanted to keep in touch with everyone. As most of you know, I am working on my third novel (about halfway through now). One question I get over and over is how do I pick names for characters... so I thought I'd use my latest blog post to answer that:
First of all, everyone's method for naming their characters is different I'm sure. As for me, I'm very meticulous. Sometimes I'll leave blank spaces in my novel where a name should go for weeks, even months, until I figure it out. ("_______________ was shocked") It probably sounds crazy to some of you, but my characters are like my children, even the bad ones. Their names are ones that I'll (hopefully) hear for years to come and so I want them to be names that I actually enjoy hearing and saying. I like unique names and speaking as someone who has NEVER found her name on a personalized keychain I want it to be exciting for my readers to open a book and see THEIR name!
Characters in my books are often names of people I know. The main character in my soon-to-be published novel is named after one of my best friends from high school. The other characters gathered their names from several of my friends, my relatives, my science teacher's son, a former coworker, the street that I used to work on and many other people and places. (Literally MANY-- but I can't give away all my secrets) In fact, the name of the town where my book is written is actually the last name of a lady I met in passing. When I was writing my novel, it was originally set in Wilmington, NC, a town that I adore, but as it came to a close I realized that a lot of the things I had said about the town weren't true to Wilmington and so I decided it needed to have an original name. (Spoons, WA anyone? :P) I had met this lady through a few friends and her name had stuck with me, but I wasn't sure where I wanted to use it.... but as luck would have it La Rue, NC was the perfect name for my little fictional town.
So there you have it, my method for naming characters is as random and unplanned as can be. You've heard the old joke: Be nice to me or you'll end up in my novel... I guess for me it should be: be nice to me AND you'll end up in my novel. (Not saying that there aren't a few snooty people who may or may not find themselves in it as well... who knows) In the end, my characters grew into their names and have made them their own. I hope you'll all agree when you get the chance to read their story.
If you have any other questions that you'd like to see me answer, leave a comment below or fill out my contact form. I've heard from so many of you already and I love it!
I guess that's all I have for you today, but I promise I'll be back much sooner that last time. Until then--
Kiersten J Modglin is an author of suspense & mystery novels. Lover of books, blogs, and Boston Terriers.