What’s In A Name?

I think we’ve discussed the importance of the right name for characters in our stories before, but it’s on my mind today as my latest is released, PLAYING WITH FIRE.  It’s a novella from Nocturne Bites.  The last Nocturne Bites, as Nocturne Cravings is now going to be the only game in the show.  I smile a bit to know I launched the Bites line with RACING THE MOON and now I’m bringing it to a close.

That said, the hero of this story is a fire demon, who was once an angel, who may or may not become mortal, and quite possibly, eventually, a vampire.  Whew!  The guy needed a name.  I have my handy-dandy A World Of Baby Names book which lists names by country.  Love that book so much—and use it so often—that I recently had to order a new copy because the old one was so tattered.  Anyway, it’s my go-to when finding hero/heroine names.

But sometimes paranormal creatures don’t necessarily have a country of origin.  Rather, they have a ‘realm’ of origin.  So picking names can get tricky.  This hero was originally from Above (Heaven, if you will) and Fell to land in Beneath.  There, he was turned into a fire demon and enslaved by Himself, whom he served for centuries.  He’s now escaped and living in the mortal realm as a computer securities tech for the Council.  His name needed to be both grand and simple.

His name?  Cinder.  I like it.  It’s kinda sexy, a little ominous.  But his full name?  Labatiel, The Flaming One, Angel of Punishment.  You can see why Cinder works for those moments when the heroine justs wants to whisper a sweet nothing in his ear?  😉

The heroine is Parish. It’s one of those names that is different enough to be cool and interesting.  I keep a list of Names I Want To Use.  Added the name Pilot yesterday.  Sounds like it would be an awesome hero name.  Or it could be a heroine.  Arizona screams for me to use it.  So does Paisley.  And I’ve just found a match to the name Sayne (that’s a guy’s name).

What names from romance novels have stood out for you?  Which ones do you adore?  Which ones were just a little too strange to warm up to?  Know anyone who has named their baby after a romance novel hero or heroine?

To read the first chapter of Playing With Fire, go here


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11 Responses to What’s In A Name?

  1. bkrahn007 says:

    Okay, Michelle– you have to be one of the world’s most creative character namers! Cinder– I LOVE it! Can’t wait to read this one! Oh, and –hey– where did you find “Cinder” in the baby name book? You always go outside the box, girl!

    • michelehauf says:

      Had to go beyond the baby book for that one, Betina. Someone really needs to put out a Vampire and Werewolf Naming Book. 😉

  2. loisgreiman says:

    Cooooool pics. Love them already. Very evocative names.

    One of my favorite character names I’ve used personally is Boden Blackblade. Ahhhh.

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    You do pick cool names, Michelle 🙂 I especially love Parish. And the picture is HOT!!!!

    • michelehauf says:

      Pictures always speak a 1000 words for me. Or in some cases 15,000, which, I believe, is the length of this story. 😉

  4. Leanne Banks says:

    CINDER is so perfect! Hot, sexy and forbidden! I totally love it!

  5. Christie Ridgway says:

    Great names, Michele! I just went through this with the current book-in-progress. I originally called the hero Charlie which just wasn’t working. Now he’s Vance. Works much better for me. Vance has always been compared to his overachieving brother who I called Max for a while. Now he’s (in the hero’s words) Fucking Perfect Fitz. It needed the alliteration!

    Funny how the story just won’t move until the names feel right in the mind! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to come up with names for paranormal characters. I sometimes go to the old class rosters of my kids (spent many years as the classroom mom) or ask Surfer Guy for names since he teaches high school and sees a lot of different ones.

    • michelehauf says:

      Class rosters! Great idea! When desperate, I’ve been known to pull any nonfiction book off the shelf, and pour over the bibliography in the back for names. Or, I’ll just let my eyes randomly wander about the room. There’s a reason I have a hero named Max (my cat Max must have strolled through the room at that moment).

  6. Sonya says:

    I always want someone to use my name in a book or something, but then the couple of times I’ve seen it I’ve been annoyed by the character. It seems the only Sonyas in the world are exotic criminals or prostitutes!

  7. C.J. Miller says:

    Cinder is a great name! When my husband and I were considering names for our son, I liked Colton, Blaine, Finn, and Reilly – all names I’ve read in romance novels. My husband wanted something more traditional so we ended up with a combo: traditional first name, unique middle name.

    I think J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood characters have interesting names: Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Phury, Rehvenge, especially in the context of the story and their personalities.

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