Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where I get my characters' names

I love choosing my characters' names. I get to use all the really cool names that my husband wouldn't let me name my children. (I tried to strike a deal with him that he could name all of the children he pushed out of his body, and I got to name all of the children I pushed out of my body, but he wouldn't go for it.)

He's sort of a traditionalist about names. In his mind a name has to be around for at least as long as the Bible for it to be considered a valid name. Which is why 4/5of our children have Bible names. (After 18 hours of labor with our last daughter, and a spinal headache, he patted my hand and said, "You can name her whatever you want." I should have named her Chanel, because then she would be our Chanel number 5, but no, that idea didn't occur to me until long after the ink was dry on the birth certificate.)

Anyway, while I was writing My Fair Godmother (and Just One Wish) I was teaching the nursery class at church. The kids were sooo cute and had such hip names, that I admit I stole several of them for my novels.

Here is a picture of Savannah
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And here is a picture of Hunter. (Although the Hunter in the book never wears rabbit ears)
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Aren't they so darling? And as a bonus, both of their parents want to buy the book. I should have thought of this idea long ago. My next character may be named Oprah . . .

15 comments:

Valerie Ipson said...

I love naming characters...I got to name 8 of my own and now I write so I can name some more.

Ashley Harward said...

My hubby is the same way when it comes to names. Men!
So, what did I just name one of my female characters? Harley. As in Harley Davidson! I love her like my own flesh and blood.
I'm still trying to get my hubby to let me name our first girl Harper- after Harper Lee. After 7 years of marriage he still isn't budging. I think she'll be in my next book! :)

Shane Nikki & Tayson said...

You don't know me, but I'm Savanna's aunt. Jen told me about this and I am sooo excited! I want to buy the book too, so that's one more for you! ;)

Kristi Stevens said...

I steal names from my students all the time. Three cheers for the movie option. Congratulations! You deserve it. Fingers crossed, I'll be taking my girls to see it in a theater near me.

Melanie J said...

I just bought your book at B&N on Friday night. So excited to start it. You'll sign in in April for me, right?!

Tristi Pinkston said...

What adorable kids!

Julie Wright said...

Naming characters is my fav thing to do. No one argues with me (though I did get my way on all three of them . . . I just hated the arguing part) Those kids are certainly adorable

Shari said...

Adorable children!

I use student names, too, Kristi.

Congratulations on your option! I look forward to seeing it in theaters.

Tess said...

Those kids are adorable! And look exactly like I imagined Savannah and Hunter to look like as kids!

Congratulations on My Fair Godmother being optioned! That's so crazy, because a few weeks ago I had a dream that I was going to see one of your books at the theaters. I cant wait to see it!! I really hope it actually gets made, hopefully my dream was a good sign.

Janette Rallison said...

Yes, and next can you dream that the book hits the best seller list?

Lenore said...

I would love to read about a character named Oprah. Awesome idea!

Pink Ink said...

Funny, Janette!

I can relate to this: I get to use all the really cool names that my husband wouldn't let me name my children.

Your hubby didn't agree to that deal? Sheesh.

PS ON the writing in the movie Groundhog Day, I completely agree. That is why I think it is one of the best movies. Very cleverly done, wonderful dialogue, and the character growth-arc is amazing.

Jenn said...

I know I’m going to sound . . . I don’t know. Not good. (Some writer I am! LOL)

But I feel concerned about the pictures you posted here. I know everyone has different opinions about this, but the internet is a scary place. It worries me that these beautiful children are identified by name and their location could be pinpointed by someone based on their proximity to you.

I'm sure you probably have the parents' permission and, like I said, everyone has a different comfort level with this kind of thing. But I just felt like I should say something.

Janette Rallison said...

Yes, I know the internet can be scary--which is why I didn't use their last names (and I got permission from their parents).

Karen Hoover said...

I love naming characters too, especially since my kids came to me with their names already attached! lol It's the only chance I'll ever get to name my kids.

Congratulations on the movie option! That is awesome news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.