I am EXTREMELY EXCITED to have on the blog today one of my favorite authors (who seem to mention a lot on this blog), Cambria Hebert. For those who may not remember, Cambria is the author of the Heven and Hell series. I’ve reviewed her book Masquerade, and her novella titled, Before. Unfortunately, I have not been able to read Charade or Between yet, but it is on my summer to-read list!
Today, Cambria is going to talk to us about writing and naming characters.
Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.
Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?
Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.
If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.
Take it away, Cambria!
Great to be here today as part of the Heven and Hell Tour: Charade. As we all know, I am a writer. I also am a scuba diver, a mountain climber and a bus driver. Okay, I’m not but doesn’t that lie – I mean – statement prove how good of a writer I am??
Beth Ann has asked me to talk about writing for today’s tour stop so after a lot of thinking and latte sipping I decided to talk about naming characters. Naming a character can be very difficult. To me, there has to be some kind of balance to a name. It can’t be difficult to spell because that would make it difficult to read. And if it’s difficult to read the reader will stumble over it every time they see it and it will disrupt the story. But a writer wants to be unique, and what better way to show that than a name?
Course, the characters always want a say too. When I pick the wrong name the character will let me know – loudly. For this series, the Heven and Hell series, I have a mix of unique and traditional names. There is one character in particular that told me his name – most definitely. This character becomes a big character in the third book, Tirade. I searched for about an hour or so, looking at names on baby name sites to pick something that would fit him. I read name meanings, looked at hundreds of names. Finally, I found one. I went back to the manuscript and I wrote his first scene, his introduction. In this scene he is asked his name… I thought “here we go, I can use the name I picked!” So when asked his name, he responded.
With a completely different name.
Yup. And no matter how hard I tried to write in the name I chose, he wouldn’t have it. He had a name and it wasn’t the one I chose. So that was about an hour of research time right down the toilet…
Yes, I could have used the name I chose but when I do something like that I walk around day and night feeling like I have an itch that I can’t scratch. Something feels “off” about the manuscript and it’s a terrible feeling so it’s best for me to just do what the character wants.
Here is a brief list of names that I chose in the Heven and Hell series and the reason I chose the name:
Heven – I actually first heard this name because a friend of mine has a daughter named this. When I started writing Masquerade I thought of the name and I really liked it, it seemed to fit the character and I also think it’s very fitting considering some of the themes in the book.
Sam– I went through a whole host of names for Sam, I actually wanted something more unique. A lot of the names I went through did begin with the letter “S” but none of them seemed to fit him. I worried that there were too many “Sam’s” already out there but once I thought the name I knew that was it. And I actually thought that because he is such a unique character, with unique abilities that a more ordinary name was fitting. He told me he wanted something normal about himself and so I gave him something.
Kimber – Kimber needed a unique and trendy name. I hadn’t read a book with this name in it before so I figured it would be a good fit for her. Of course, I since seen it around but that’s okay. It still fits her.
So those are some of the names that are in the Heven and Hell series. It was fun picking the names but even more fun getting to know the characters behind the names.
A big thanks to Beth Ann for having me on her wonderful blog today!!!
To stalk, er follow Cambria, please visit the following links: