Congratulations to Jean of Ohio for winning the signed copy of Secret Life of a Vampire! My thanks to all who left comments. Please come back June 25th for my next contest.
How do I choose names for my characters? First, there are the obvious considerations. Is the character male or female? Is he/she Scottish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, or something else? What kind of character is he/she? Macho, airhead, nerdy, etc. Sometimes, I already have a name in mind. Like Jean-Luc-- I've always loved that name from watching Capt. Picard on Star Trek. And Jack-- I've always loved that name and the name Giacomo ever since the movie, The Court Jester, where Danny Kaye plays the role of Giacomo, King of Jesters and Jester of Kings!
Sometimes, a name is a joke, like the FBI director named Barker who turned out to be an Irish Wolfhound. In the case of my Japanese vampires, Kyo, Yoshi, and Yuki, I asked my daughter for help. She's a big anime/manga fan and happily supplied me with her favorite names. (Fruit Basket, anyone?) In the next Love at Stake book, Sexiest Vampire Alive (releasing Sept 27th), I'll be introducing three Vamps from Australia: Rick, Steve, and Bryan. Steve is in memory of Steve Irwin, and Bryan because Monty Python liked to name their Aussie guys Bryan. Rick--I have no idea where he came from, but there was Bleer being served, so he showed up.
Sometimes, I go to baby naming websites that give names by ethnicity and gender. When I finally find the right name, it just clicks, and I know it's the one. That works well for first names, but what about last names? Where did the names Draganesti or Veszto come from? I found them on maps. Draganesti is a small village in Romania and Veszto is another village in Hungary. Echarpe was a bit of a joke. It means scarf, because after an evening with Jean-Luc, a woman would need a scarf.
Which character names do you like the most? Or the least? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Secret Life of a Vampire, starring Jack (one of my favorite names!)