Sunday, February 09, 2014

What’s in a Name? : : Anne McAllister

I wasn’t sure what I ought to write this month.  The old adage “write what you know” of course is always apropos.  But pretty much all I know this month is about snow shovels – I could write a doctoral dissertation on snow shovels, given the kind of winter we are having.

But I didn’t figure you’d be interested. I’m not either, for that matter.

aaanamesSo I decided to ask you for some suggestions instead. I need a name for my next heroine.  I thought her name was Angela, called Ange, for short.  But I’ve spent a bit of time with her now as I’ve been giving thought to the scenes in the book and while my hero, a Montana cowboy named Cole, is very clear in my mind and knows his name, my heroine does not.

So . . . here’s what I know.  She’s in her mid 20s.  She’s a film maker, tv director. She’s clever and capable and extremely good at her job.  She understands people – all but one of them anyway (guess who).  She’s both persuasive and conciliatory which means that she gets people to cooperate because for one reason or another, they always seem to want to please her.  It’s a gift or a power or something, but whatever it is, she has it.  In spades.

She lives in LA now, but she grew up in Montana.  Her background is international, however. Her father is a professor of psychology.  Her mother writes travel books.  She has several siblings – and she’s one of the middle ones.

And somewhere there is a name for her – but I’m running out of ideas. I don’t like to use the same names for heroines in my books.  The closest I’ve come is a Cait and a Kate, and an Anna and an Annie and an Anastasia (also called Anny).  But there are over sixty other ones I’ve already used – in no particular order: Liv, Anna, Cassie, Lainie, Torey, Susan, Cara, Clea, Jessica, Courtney, Joanna, Grace, Lesley, Frances, Diane, Annie, Samantha, Libby, Annabel, Alison, Jane, Lacey, Madeleine, Emily, Maggie, Sara Jane, Jill, Kate, Carly, Tess, Felicity, Brenna, Isobel, Jenny, Josie, Lucy, Poppy, Milly, Dori, Mari, Ellie, Chloe, Lydia,Mary, Frederica, Mariah, Cait, Sierra, Polly, Celie, Erin, Carin, Fiona, Sydney, Molly, Tallie, Martha, Sadie, Sara, Alice, Neely, Anastasia, Sophy, Edie, Catriona, Daisy and Holly.

So those are the ones to avoid. If you can think of any others that sound like my heroine, I’d love to hear some suggestions.  If I choose yours I’ll send you a copy of a backlist title – you get to chose and if I can find it in my attic, I’ll send it along. If I can’t we’ll find another, I hope!  So check back – I’ll post an update here at the end of this post later this week.


UPDATE!!!!!  Sorry it took me so long to get back here!  I’ve been – surprise, surprise! – shoveling snow! It’s never-ending!  Anyway, I love so many of the names you guys suggested, and I hope I get to use many of them for future heroines. But for this one, I think Mary Preston, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This heroine does sound like and Eleanor!  She’s got a the ability to be regal.  The hero knows that. He doesn’t realize there is more to her than that. Guess she’ll have to teach him!

Thank you all so much for your suggestions! Mary, if you will please write to me at anne.mcallister(at), I’ll send you a copy of one of my backlist books.  Thanks for your suggestion. Eleanor is so happy to have a name. (So am I!)


Cindy Hamilton said...

Elizabeth "Lizzie" or April

Kaelee said...

Tara, Jenelle, Bryn or Kursti. I picked the names of people I knew nearest the age you mentioned.

Mary Preston said...

She sounds like an Eleanor to me.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Michelle, Laurel, Evelyn, Katherine, Barbara, Mavis were some I could come up with.

Kate Walker said...

A small furry friend of mine (and hopefully one day yours) says she should be called Ruby . . . or maybe Charlie (though not Chaz!) Getting the right name for a character is tricky - but once you have the right one you wonder why you ever thought she was called anything else.

Laurie G said...

Amber, Alissa (Lissa or Ali) , Amy, Andrea (Andi)
Lara, Leah, Lindsey
Mia, Mackenzie
Tricia (Trish), Tara
Carrie, Chelsea

Laney4 said...


Mary Preston said...

THANK YOU!! I have sent off an email.