Bonus Material: The Name Game

Character names are incredibly important to a story. Not only do I want the names I select for my characters to sound good and roll easily off the reader's tongue, but I love to give extra meaning to the names, perhaps a meaning that no one else will ever pick up on besides me.

I love using biblical names and historic names, but the real fun comes when I start playing with them. Sometimes the meanings connect to the novel's theme or some other deeper meaning, but more often they employ a play on words in a way that gives me a reason to smile even when working with these characters day after day.

Here are a few samples of my name play.

Photo Credit: alexkerhead via Compfight cc

  • A Tailor-Made BrideJericho "J.T." Tucker. Jericho hated his name, but it symbolized the walls he had built up around his heart. Walls only the lovely Hannah Richards could break down. Hannah Richards. My father passed away when I was 16, and I wanted to honor him in some way in my first published book. So I named my heroine after him. My dad was Richard Gaskin.
  • Head in the CloudsGideon Westcott. Gideon was a British nobleman who ran a sheep farm in Texas. Seemed fitting that a man who dealt in fleece would share the name of the Bible character who tested God with the same item. Adelaide Proctor. Adelaide was a teacher by trade, so I thought it would be fun to use a play-on-words for her surname. Proctor is synonymous with teacher.
  • To Win Her HeartLevi Grant. I've always like the name Levi. It's strong, just like my blacksmith hero. And I thought it was a bit ironic for a man who had spent time in prison to be named after a tribe of priests. Eden Spencer. Eden was a garden of perfection before Adam and Eve corrupted it with sin. Eden Spencer was the daughter of the town founder, always in the public eye, always so careful to preserve her "perfect" reputation until Levi challenges her to move beyond appearances in her faith. She also surrounds herself with flowers. Pressing wildflowers and making art from them is her favorite hobby.


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