What’s In A Name: Carina Press Authors Share How They Name Their Characters
There is a lot of thought behind the names of your favorite characters, whether they relate to the theme of the book or the author feels a connection to it for one reason or another. These Carina Press authors are here to show you how they came up with the names in their most recent books.
Don’t forget to share the names of your favorite romance characters in the comments below!
M.A. Grant, author of The Iron Crown
What’s in the book? Spoilers, potentially. I lean heavily on mythology and meanings, and The Darkest Court series is a great example of this.
All the Unseelie princes’ names have symbolic meanings foreshadowing twists in the plot. Sláine’s name comes from the legendary Irish king Sláine mac Dela. Roark’s full name—Roark Tahm Lyne—is a direct nod to the famous Scottish border ballad “Tam Lin.” Lugh’s namesake is a powerful and all-skilled Celtic god tied to the great harvest festival Lughnasadh.
Not all the names I chose have such deep meanings though. I have a bucket list of favorite names I pull out when I can. Roark is one of them, and Phineas has been on that list since I read A Separate Peace as a teen. Sebastian’s name came from a saint who didn’t die despite being tied to a stake and shot with arrows. Keiran got his name for no reason other than I love the name and the character equally.
I may have some random fun with names, but I’ll usually choose them for a reason. Best of luck deciphering the spoilers they offer you!
Rhenna Morgan, author of Hers to Tame
Character names come to me in a variety of ways. Some I hear mentioned day-to-day and they spur a specific character I’d like to write. Others happen in the exact opposite fashion with the character coming to mind first which sends me on a binge of name searching on baby name or ancestry sites for something that fits who they are. The one exception was with my book Down & Dirty—book six in the Men of Haven Series. I couldn’t quite nail down just the right name for my heroine, so I reached out to my reader group on Facebook (Rhenna’s Romantics) and asked for ideas. One of my readers suggested Lizzie and it stuck! So, I named the character Lizzie Hemming—partly from the suggestion and the last name to match the reader who’d suggested it.
Annabeth Albert, author of Burn Zone
I’m a baby name site addict. I tend to think of a mood I want for a name–rugged, artsy, classic, modern, cowboy etc. And then I look at lists with those sorts of names and start to get a feel for where I might go with a name. I double check to make sure I haven’t used it for a main character before, and I test it out with a few sentences or notes to see how it feels. I’ll also look at “If you like X…” name lists to see if there is a less common option that might work even better for the character. I also like to use last name generators for ideas for last names. Sometimes I know right away what a name will be, Lincoln in Burn Zone came to me almost immediately. Jacob took more searching, especially for his last name and sibling names. In my July release, High Heat, Garrick was an easy fit, while Rain took more time on the baby name sites. I also love asking for ideas from my reader group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook! Naming is always fun and one of my favorite parts of writing!
What is the name of your favorite fictional character? Let us know in the comments section below!