Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's in a Name?

A few days ago Kate Hardy said she was stuck in her current manuscript because she hadn't got her hero's name right and thus he wasn't cooperating.

People who don't write probably think that's daft.

It's not. Trust me.

I have had heroes who flat out refused to say a word because I didn't know their names. They just stood there, defying me to guess who they were. And finally, when I got it right, they opened up and eventually I got a book out of them.

Jared Flynn from my novella, Marry Go Round in With This Ring, was a case in point. He absolutely refused to do a thing until I figured out his name.

Lots of us have been tossing names at Kate for her quintessential English banker hero. Got any ideas? Go see Kate on her blog and tell her.

I'll be curious to see who he turns out to be.

In the meantime, I have something of the opposite problem.

Not Demetrios. I know his name. I know what he does for a living. I know a lot of his backstory and he's cooperating nicely. He even got off the street corner last night when I found him a good reason to leave and a means of doing so.

But he has a brother, George. George is a physicist. A reclusive brainy physicist.

George, against all odds, is destined to be my next hero. At least that's what my editor and I have agreed on. This was not, let me assure you, my idea. But apparently some people, editors included, think George can be a hero.

Probably he can be.

But he's got his work cut out for him. And so do I.

So I'm trying to get inside his head right now -- even as I work on Demetrios's book -- because I know I'm going to have to do some heavy-duty thinking about this man (and probably replay Kate Walker's master class in Alpha Heroes) before I get to grips with what situation is going to bring out the hero in George.

You're going to meet George's ex-wife, Sophy, in Christo's book, One-Night Mistress, Convenient Wife. I figure she has something to do with George being heroic, but I don't know what. If I don't start thinking about it now or I'm going to be in trouble when I need to start on his book.

So what do you think a physicist named George with an ex-wife named Sophy is likely to be confronted with that will make him pull up his socks, get out of the lab and act like a McAllister hero?

All suggestions seriously considered, believe me.

Just don't tell me to change his name. One of the problems of linked books is that names stick -- and authors are stuck with them -- and the most unlikely people become heroes and heroines because of it.

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Blogger Jill said...

I love reclusive brainy physicists. Plus, I have the faith that you'll whip him into shape ;-)

30 April, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...


Thank you for your faith in me. I hope it's justified. George hopes so, too!

30 April, 2009  
Blogger Kate Hardy said...

Reclusive, brainy physicist.. are you sure you haven't landed yourself with one of my heroes? *g*

What's his big dream? And how does Sophy influence that?

(I think mine has a name. But he might have a hissy fit when he finds out what my heroine is going to call him...)

01 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I could well have landed myself with a Kate Hardy hero, but after my own surfer hero, I figure I can handle him. PROVIDED I get a notion of what matters.

Your point about his 'dream' is a very good one, Kate. I'll give it some thought.

Looking forward to learning your hero's name - and the nickname his heroine gives him!

01 May, 2009  

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