Naming Babies (and book characters)

I’m thinking about my next book, which means I’m thinking about characters and character names. I like this stage very much – it’s a bit like naming a new baby. 

These are the names I’ve used so far for my main characters, and a bit about why I chose them.JPEG Names

His Brand Of Beautiful

Christina Clay
Right from the beginning, I thought of having a character who would be nicknamed CC by her friends. I also needed something that would work with the name of the family winery in this book, Clay Wines. In the book, a brand is developed for Clay Wines that is called Cracked Pots. Clay. Pots. Get it?

Tate Newell
On a visit to the Sunshine Coast in 2012 we drove on the Newell Highway… need I say more? As for ‘Tate’ this book begins with a ‘mistaken identity’ premise, and I needed a quick short name that could get confused if heard over dodgy reception on the phone. So for me this became a mixup with Tate and Nate.

There is also the character of Christina’s best friend, Lacey in this book. Lacey’s name came from the American So You Think You Can Dance that year.

The Goodbye Ride

Olivia Murphy
Olivia is a personal favourite. If I’d ever had a baby girl, I would have called her Olivia, or Liv, as Olivia gets shortened to in The Goodbye Ride. As for Murphy, I’m not so sure. There was a family with the surname ‘Murphy’ and they had a boy going to my son’s school. I don’t think it’s any deeper than that.

Owen Carson
Being brutally honest, there was an ‘Owen’ in my early years who I didn’t like much at all, but it’s a nice name… As for Carson, I have no idea. Carson’s Law anyone?

Fairway To HeavenFairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315

Jennifer (Jenn) Gates

I have met and got to know so many Jenn’s since I started this writing life. Jenn J McLeod, Jennie Jones, Jenny Schwartz, Jennifer Scoullar, Jennie Brumley, Jennifer St George… it starts to read like the ‘attack of the Jen’s’ – and they are all lovely. The Jenn in Fairway to Heaven was never going to be named anything else. From the time she first swung a golf club, she was Jenn in my head.

Brayden Culhane
My mother is convinced my fictional ‘Brayden’ and my real husband ‘Brian’ are one and the same… I have no idea if she’s right of course 😉

Sebby is Jennifer’s toddler son in Fairway. I know a lot of Sebastian’s (Sebby’s) and they are great kids. Kudos to my cousin Yvette and my friend Tanja for this name. Thank you for letting me borrow it!

So Far Into You (Out October 2015)

Remy Hanley
Remy Hanley was ‘Quinn Jackson’ for a very long time. Years in fact, because this book has been brewing in various guises for about that long. Somewhere in the last rewrite in 2014, Quinn became Remy in a massive case of ‘Find and Replace’. I blame the same friend Tanja once again. She has a daughter called Remy and I love this name! I’ve lost touch with a lovely friend I had years ago with the surname ‘Hanley’… maybe that choice is a tie to her, but I don’t think it was one I consciously thought about.

Seth Lasrey
Big bad Seth was ‘Dex’ all the time ‘Remy’ was ‘Quinn’… then when Quinn became Remy (are you confused yet?) Dex became Seth. This time, I blame a brilliant television show called Deadwood, starring the delectable Timothy Oliphant. (Or Raylan in Justified if you prefer). The moment I discovered Seth Bullock hiding in Deadwood, Dex Lasrey died and was reborn. I like him much better as Seth.

The New Book (No Name)

Characters so far are: Cally Morgan, Sienna Devereux, Uncle Bruce Devereux, also a dude called Brookes… and now I’m wondering, my Mum might be right in her comment about me and ‘Br’ names… Brian, Brayden, Bruce and Brookes. I’ve also got a secondary character of Bryce in So Far Into You and a Burt in another book I’ve been messing around with. ‘B’ and ‘C’ names seem to be on my hit list. I have a sister-in-law called Bronwyn and a wonderful neighbour called Carrie… I guess that puts them on the hit list for a character one of these days!

What about you? If you could name the heroine and hero of your own book, who would they be? If you’re a writer, do you have any deeper motivations than me about what makes you choose a name?

7 thoughts on “Naming Babies (and book characters)”

  1. My characters all start with a different name and then when I want to share bits of my writing, I have to come up with new names for them. Maybe one day I’ll stop basing my characters on real people and won’t need to change their names.
    OMG I love love LOVE Timothy Olyphant. Raylan *swoons* There’s a tiny baby called Raylan in Bree’s new story she started last week because we love Justified… I started watching Deadwood a few years ago, need to get back to it. On a TV show tangent, have you watched Banshee?
    I keep a list of the names Bree and I have used, there’s also a list of names we can’t use, because of memories (good or bad). A baby book comes in handy sometimes.

    1. Hi Lauriel – is Timothy Olyphant in Banshee? I haven’t heard of it. I will have to check it out. We finished Breaking Bad just a week or so ago and we’re looking for our next TV thing. Looking at True Detective or Orange Is The New Black. We haven’t seen Season 6 Justified yet… that’s out soon.
      Thanks for visiting!

      1. No, Timothy Olyphant is not in Banshee but Antony Starr is. We’re doing a rewatch of Orange Is The New Black at the moment, nearly halfway through season 2. Season 6 of Justified was awesome.
        We’re also watching Empire. We didn’t intend ton but otbsucked us in. ^_^

  2. I love all the names you’ve come up with for your books so far, Lily. You have a knack of getting the unusual and making it different enough to be totally believable – like Seth and Remy. (Love the name Carrie, by the way.)

  3. I love all of your names, and you’re right—it is a fun part of writing! The names in my novel are rather, well, daggy, but they suit the era: Ida and Nora. I don’t know where I got them from, except that my great-grandmother’s name was Noreda, and my two grandmothers were Edna and Olive, so they’re similar to those. Their husbands’ names are Alf and Len, and other characters include Lorna and Norman, Doreen and Max, and Rex and Beryl, so I think I win for the daggiest character names!

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