Choosing names is never an easy process
by Kate Hoffmann, author of the upcoming Harlequin Blaze Into the Night (January 2011)
What’s in a name? Shakespeare rhapsodized on the subject for a full seven lines in Romeo and Juliet. But I prefer the screenwriter’s take on naming characters from Shakespeare In Love. Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter never would have worked.
And so, I sit at my computer, searching for the perfect character name, scouring books and websites, waiting for my hero or heroine to leap into my lap, christened and fully-formed.
Recently, the task has been made difficult because I’ve been spending so much time writing about a certain Irish family—the Mighty Quinns—for Harlequin Blaze. Though Ireland boasts so many sexy hero names, I’ve been going through them like Diet Dr Pepper on a deadline. In October of 2011, another Quinn trilogy hits the shelves, and I will add three more Quinns to the fruitful family tree.
When I choose a hero’s name, my entire history with the human race comes into play. Every playground bully, cheating boyfriend, obnoxious neighbor and media bad guy must be considered. With certain names come unwanted characteristics that are impossible for me and my readers to put aside. But before the reader even sees a name, it must pass the editorial test. And there, in my editor Brenda Chin’s office, poor Desmond Quinn has languished for several years now. In Desmond, I see that sexy hero from the second season of Lost and my editor can’t put Desmond Tutu out of her head.
I never know where I might find a name. I found Teague Quinn in a little boy at a graduation party. If I really get desperate, maybe my editor will finally let Desmond come out and play. Or perhaps you might have suggestions for future Quinn heroes? Tell me what you think.