Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Name Game

I’m finishing up a manuscript this week. It’s the fifth in my Texas Sirens series. (Blatant plug – Beast the second Faery Story is coming out tomorrow. And now back to our previously scheduled blog.)
I turned Siren in Waiting in to my personal, Chloe, and the first thing she yelled at me about (yes, there will be much yelling and grousing) was the fact that I used the same name on two different small characters. I had two Lous. I named a character Lou utterly forgetting that I had named the sheriff of Deer Run Lou in a previous book. Yeah. I’m brilliant. I renamed the sheriff Bill in this book which sent Chloe into an apoplectic fit since I already have two Bills in the Bliss series. Chloe keeps my series bibles and asked me if I was trying to kill her with confusion.
While I certainly know more than one Lou in the real world, apparently there is only room for one Lou in the fictional world. I now have a new assignment. I have to make an excel document of all the names I’ve used in the twelve books I’ve had contracted and the books I’m shopping. It’s been a revelation.

The first shocker was the amount of male names I’ve used versus female names. I made a list of the names I have already used. Because I write ménage, I quickly discovered that the boy list was way longer than the girl list. In just my contracted work and the sequels I’m pretty sure are going to sell, I’ve already used Jack, Sam, Julian, Lucas, Max, Rye, Stefan, Aidan, Finn and Callum. Conversely, my main female characters are Abby, Rachel, Callie, Lexi, Gabrielle, and Dani. My females only account for 37.5% of my names used. If I follow through on my plans for a ménage a cinque, it will be much worse. It’s an idea I’ve had running through my brain to do a “Big Boing Theory” book complete with five geeks turned hotties. When I sat down to plot, my biggest problem was coming up five names for my geeks.

Seriously, I’m running out of names. My fall names are Dante, Trev, Bo, Caleb and Alexei. And I still have secondary characters to name. Secondary characters are hard because I really don’t want to use a name I might end up using on a hero. Hence the Bills. And Hals. And Lous. If I keep this up I’ll be left with a ménage featuring Myron and Gilbert.

Someone please send me a baby name books – heavy on the guy names. If I use Bill or Lou one more time, Chloe just might explode.

Sophie Oak writes for Siren Publishing. Her latest, Beast, is out Friday, September 23rd.


Ursula said...

There are a TON of online resources for baby names. You can even find sites dedicated to certain nationalities.(Found a really cool Irish one. Not sure that would help)

You can pick names based on what they mean. (Like how they would fit with your character's traits)

I love going online and searching out names for characters. (for books I will never write. Teehee.)
So give Google a try. I bet you will be surprised.

Jeana said...

I posted a link to the social security baby name site on your facebook page.
Tracks the past 100 yrs of names.

Sophie said...

Thanks, guys! And Ursula, I have a fictional world based on Celtic myths. I can use a bunch of Irish names.

MichelleKCanada said...

I do like regular guy names. Like Jeff, Derek, Dean, Mike, Greg, John etc.. Unless it is a historical or paranormal and there are creative or old school names.
I dislike names where I need to sound out and try to figure out like Xhomenic but that is normally sci-fi and I dont read too many of those.

It must be cool naming characters. I read somewhere that an author named a female character a certain name but then after re-reading the final book, the name didn't click. All of a sudden, she renamed the female character and the book came together. I think she started with Caroline but then changed to Sarah or something like that.
So I get names are important. Have fun!

SusieJ said...

Love this post!!
And am so looking forward to your menage a cinq/six. :)
I had trouble choosing a name for our son because I was a teacher..each name hubby came up with brought to mind a particular pupil....No! not that one.
Have fun googling three favourites are..David, Nick (short for Nicholas) and Max (short for Maximus)..yep, hubby, son and dog. :)
Hugs xx

Jeana said...

We have a Logan, Connor Nathan & Jackson. They were almost Evan, Mason, Adam/Shane and Rhys.

MiaAshlinn said...


First and foremost, I have to say...OMG! OMG! OMG! You are going to do a menage a cinq! Woohoo! (If I could do a back flip, I would be all over that.)

Okay, now, that the freaking out part is over. I have to say that I know of lots of name websites. There are a zillion out there, but I try to avoid them unless I just cannot come up with a name for someone. Otherwise, I end up pointing at the screen going, "Oh, that is a cool name!" or "Shit, who would name their kid that?!?" LOL. Of course, I buried my nose in a baby naming book for 3/4 of my pregnancy. Ironically, we named her the name that I said from the get go would be her name, but we had to try all the wrong ones before we agreed on the right. :)

Anywhoo,great post. Good luck with your name game. I will keep my fingers crossed that Chloe does not explode any time soon. LOL.


Savanna Kougar said...

Sophie, I have a fetish thing for names, and have lists out the wazoo. There are a whole lot of name sites out there. Irish names, even cowboy names, etc. I have a huge list of possible cowboy names if you'd like to have it email me at rebelromance at