Readers have asked me how I come up with character's names. I wish I had a process, but there's no one way. Often a name just comes to me. Sometimes I hear one somewhere that resonates with me. Other times I've brainstormed and/or asked for help. One thing I have figured out is I need to be more careful with what I name my secondary male characters.
Two reasons: Potential sequels and Bill Paulson
Rescued by the Magic of Christmas. His name came from Pacific Northwest climbers I met while researching the book—Bill (two shared this name) and Paul. Bill sounded like a good first name for a firefighter and volunteer mountain rescuer, a fun-loving, needs-to-grow-up, but has a big heart kind of guy.
He made an appearance in a free read I wrote for Harlequin.com, three sequels to the first book, and ended up the hero of the final story in the series, a series I never intended to write when I started the first book. There's nothing wrong with the name Bill. It fit him. But I'll be honest, had I know Bill might one day be the hero in his own book, I probably wouldn't have named him that even though now I couldn't imagine him called anything else!
When I wrote Home For Christmas in 2013, I kept thinking of Bill. The story had sequel possibilities so I kept thinking hero potential when I was coming up with names. The heroine's brother ended up being named Tyler and a wrangler was called Zack.
My Haley's Bay series for Harlequin Special Edition features a family of seven siblings, five of which are brothers: AJ, Ellis (already married), Flynn, Declan and Grady. Once again, Bill popped into my head. Only this time I could hear him say what's wrong with a Tim or a Tom or a Bob. Nothing, I had to admit. But those weren't the names that fit the Cole brothers.
Picture Perfect Love, I could almost hear Bill whispering a name. Sam. Sam. Sam...
I knew when to give up!
One of the secondary characters is named Sam. He's a nice guy who needs to grow up a little, and he's got definite hero potential!
I've got a mini-swag pack up for grabs! You'll get an autographed book, fuzzy socks to keep your feet warm while you read, a couple bookmarks and a chocolate bar.
To enter the giveaway, comment with your favorite male name (from real life or a book!) I'll post the name of the winner in the comment section on Friday!