Reader Friday – What’s in a Name?

Kurt Cobain Tattoo

Kurt Cobain Tattoo

What is the best name you’ve ever seen for a fictional character in a book? Would you name your child after this character…or a pet…or wear a tattoo with the name?

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

27 thoughts on “Reader Friday – What’s in a Name?

  1. Good question. Of course when I NEED to think of one I can’t–not one that the name in itself is unique or appealing. I can call to mind several characters names’–but for the reverse reason–their characters were so good that their name is stamped in my mind. Not that the names themselves were special.

    I’ll have to think on it.

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  2. The name ODD THOMAS comes to mind for me. Dean Koontz, author. Odd’s name is legit. On his birth certificate, somehow the letter T had been dropped.

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  3. I laugh every time I see a blog post with this title — because even though I know it’s highly unlikely, I can always hope someone’s talking about my book with the same title.

    I hate naming characters. I had 3 named Hank in one book (hiss boo to the editor who didn’t notice). I keep a spreadsheet now, to avoid that.

    As far as memorable names/characters? I’m sure I have several, but my mind is blank, other than Roarke.

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    • An author friend of mine must’ve really liked the name Jake because she used it in dozens of her books (long backlist). She keeps data too.

      I love strong names for my stories & have a ritual where I marry sounds & how easily a name rolls off the tongue. I also think of nicknames. RYKER Townsend is my latest series character. Unusual first name but I loved the masculinity of how it sounds.

      Thanks, Terry.

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  4. Now I always start with Scrivener’s name generating tool, which you can tailor to your needs (e.g., male, female, nationality). You can also set the level of “obscurity” and use alliteration if you want to. Some of the names can be odd, but then you can mix and match from the list. I just ran one using alliteration, and here are a few that came up. I could use any one of these (so no purloining!)

    Jimmy Jenks
    Ignasi Ilsley
    Daniel Dalfo
    Samuel Solé
    Jasper Judd
    Owen Oldland

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  5. I actually did name one of my children after a book title that haunted me when I first read it: Rebecca. Also, my (married) last name in those days was Sharp, which gave us the option of calling her Becky Sharp. And my personal favorite nickname for little girls in general was Becca. So I HAD to name her that. 🙂

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  6. Kilgore Trout. He had an interesting physical attribute, too. I would not name a pet or human after him, but when I was a teenager there was someone with that name in the local phone book. He eventually changed his number and had it “unlisted”.

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    • My favorite Kilgore Trout novel was “Venus on the Half Shell”. And thank you Jose Phillippe Farmer for ghost writing it.

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  7. I had a gang leader in South Texas named Doroteo Arango, which is Pancho Villa’s real name. And no, no tattoos, no children’s names but I am considering Betty Boop.

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  8. -My wife says, Cruella de Vil from “The Hundred and One Dalmations” by Dodie Smith.

    -my pick is simple, Sherlock Holmes. Can anyone say the name Sherlock anymore without evoking the detective in all of us? And, yes, I would give that name to a pet, probably not a child.

    -My sister-in-law, a big Big BIG Harry Potter fan, names her pets after Harry Potter characters. She calls her horse Bella, short for Bellatrix Lestrange.

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  9. I’m always partial to Uriah Heep, as well.

    And maybe because I just picked up my Kindle copy of Blind Sight, but I think Kathy Mallory has a perfect name.

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    • Another Uriah Heep fan.

      On Kathy Mallory, solid strong woman’s name. In crime fiction, I’m cautious about using two first names since last names are often used as a stand alone (ie Detective Mallory or simply ‘Mallory looked over the crime scene”) and readers might get confused on gender.

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  10. Back in my romance writing days, an editor told me you could never go wrong by naming the male love interest with a name using “x.”

    So I obliged with Max. (How original!)

    Otherwise, I remember being enchanted with Salinger’s names Franny and Zooey.

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    • I read Franny & Zoey as a kid & loved it

      Max is a great name. Sam is another one I like. These names say “solid, dependable, friend” to me. Adding an X is kinda sexy though. Yeah, I’m overthinking this.

      Thanks, Kris.

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  11. Augustus Mellon – from Richard Brautigan’s A CONFEDERATE GENERAL FROM BIG SUR – discovered him (both author and character) in high school.

    I have one from my first NaNo attempt that I would like to explore further ~ McAdam Rhodes

    And speaking of Rebecca (which may be title in itself) I have Rebecca Ashburn in reserve – from an exit sign on I-75 in south Georgia.

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