I have to confess that naming characters is not my strong suit. Most of the time, I leave a place marker in my text until a suitable name comes to me. When I discovered that some UK readers thought the name Derek (The Billionaire’s Son) was decidedly not hunky, I was surprised. Apparently, the name Derek is so unpopular across the pond that it’s practically extinct. And what’s worse than having a sexy hunk with a nerdy name?
Vowing not to make that mistake again, I’ve spent way too much time on the internet consulting baby name charts (especially the UK charts) and the like. I’ve agonized over naming my characters more than I did naming my own children.
So, when I was working up the beat sheets for Rock Me: Wicked, I started watching American Horror Story – Asylum. (Don’t ask – I have very eclectic TV habits – it’s a crazy, disturbing show with a great cast.) Anyway, I watched with fascination as Adam Levine (Maroon 5) got all chopped up. Love him or hate him (and his tattoos), it’s hard to deny how sexy he is. My characters name was born, Adam.
Now, the heroine’s point of view is written in first person. Her name doesn’t really come up much at first. She was named much later than Adam. My baby name research came up with the name Evelyn (charting in both US and UK now!). She goes by Evie, but I’ll have her old friends call her Lena. Yes! It was all working.
It took me about 20,000 words into the story to finally come to the realization that I had named my couple Adam and Evie. Face-palm! Adam had to go – that’s why he was changed to Alex 🙂
Somewhere along the line, Lena got a last name. I thought Woods sounded nice. Evelyn Woods. I kept getting this niggling familiar feeling to it. I finally googled it to discover Evelyn Wood, famous speed reader (Reading Dynamics, anyone?). I kept it anyway, because I thought it had a nice ring to it.
The worst part was coming up with a name for the bands. Cold Fusion was called The Band as a place holder in the text. It just kept bringing up the wrong image (70’s, hippies, beards?) in my head. It had to go, pronto! I used a ‘rock band random name generator’ that I found on the internet. The results were pretty awful.
Cold Fusion came from an article I was reading in a science magazine. It sounded kind of cool – so I decided to use it! If you google, you can find a real band named Cold Fusion. Don’t do that. Especially if you already have an idea what Alex, Nick, Tommy and Tyler look like.
Really, those guys are perfectly fine, just not what I had in mind 😉 Please feel free to google images of Adam Levine anytime, though. 🙂