Frequently Asked Question: “Where Do You Get Your Character Names?”

As an author, I get asked questions about my books.  That’s only natural.  One of the most frequently asked questions is “Where do you get your character names?”

There are sources out there that show what names were popular during a given year. I work backwards to when a character would have been born and look at the lists. I also consider trends in naming (e.g., there were eras when names from classical mythology were all the rage), as well as name meanings. Erik (who features in my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series), means ‘”one ruler” or “autocrat.” That comes through in his personality! He’s balanced out by wife Claire (“light”) and friend Gilbert (“bright promise”) … and he names his daughter Veronique (“victory”).

With Bayou Fire, it was a little trickier in a couple of cases.  Diana Corbett, my female protagonist, didn’t have her name until I was about a quarter of the way into the manuscript.  Her placeholder name, while I figured out who she was, was Emma Cartwright.  Thank goodness for find-and-replace!  It also took me a while to figure out the names of some of the minor characters.

One character, though, gave me no trouble with naming:  Amos Boudreaux.  I knew I wanted to call my Cajun protagonist Amos because of a 1970 Jerry Reed hit.  Enjoy this performance of “Amos Moses” by Jerry Reed and Glen Campbell.





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