In which names are named…

Authorial Endeavor #023. It’s time to announce another guest post, this time at JeanBookNerd, a bookish blog. I chatted about things to keep in mind when naming your characters. My article is called, “Four Approaches to Character Names, a.k.a. The Naming Debacle.” Jean also reviewed The Hidden Deep, and there’s a giveaway underway!

The Naming Debacle, quote

Name Games. While you’re here, let’s expand on what you’ll learn there! I’m sharing more tidbits about the cast of the Threshold Series … and their names.

Harken Mercer is the elderly gentleman who runs the used bookstore on Main Street. He’s been a friend to the Pomeroy family for many years, and he also happens to be an angel. Harken means “dark red,” so he’ll usually be wearing a burgundy cardigan or tie. His first name also plays off his role as a divine Messenger. Think “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!” Harken’s wings also happen to be a deep, dark red. Mercer comes from the same root as mercantile, so his surname essentially means, “shopkeeper.”

Kester Peverell is a part of the team who leads worship in a church in Harper, a slightly larger city that’s south of Prissie Pomeroys’ hometown. Kester is a variation on Christopher and means “one who carries Christ in his heart.” This gifted instrumentalist’s last name means “piper.”

The Lay of the Land. Authors don’t just put thought into the names of their characters. There’s the setting to consider.

♦ The Pomeroy farm is situated in the northernmost part of Milton County, named for John Milton, the English poet famous for writing the epic Paradise Lost. I studied his works back in college and fondly blame him for my alliterative tendencies.

Sunderland State Park’s name was chosen because the name carries the meaning “divided,” as in “torn asunder.” Readers of Rough and Tumble will know that two legions of angels are encamped on the edges of the battle lines that are drawn up just beyond the Pomeroys’ property.

Up and Down Main Street. Prissie doesn’t exist in a void. She’s part of a larger community, and that meant naming everything from the local paper (the Herald) to the high school mascot (the Warriors).

Loafing Around is Jayce Pomeroy’s bakery. The name’s punny enough to roll some eyes, but it suits the small town’s ambiance. Even though he’s a classically trained patisserie with a love for edible frippery, Jayce relies on his specialty in bread-making to support his family.

The DeeVee is an independent church down in Harper. Their catchy name looks great on T-shirts, but it also has Latin roots. Back when I was a kid, Christians liked to use PTL (an acroynm standing for “praise the Lord”), but in an era even before mine, the trend among believers was to add D.V. It’s an abbreviation for the Latin phrase deo volente, which roughly translates “if God allows” or “as God wills.”

I could go on about everything from Judicious and the Right Honorable Madder to the opportunities for wordplay some names gave me … but we’ll save that for another post on another day. Now, if you haven’t checked out that guest post yet, here’s the link again:

“Four Approaches to Character Names, a.k.a. The Naming Debacle”
article ♦ review ♦ giveaway

Past guest posts:
“Bringing Faith to Life” – the art of Angels All Around

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