To celebrate the print release of her novel, The Hand He Dealt, Tanith Davenport is stopping by today with a great guest post on character names! Congrats Tanith on the release, make sure you all check out this hot new novel afterwards!
One of the hardest tasks for me when beginning a story is naming the characters. It doesn’t matter how much I like a particular name – if it doesn’t suit the character, I can’t use it. For instance, I love the name “Rowan”, but so far no Rowans have suggested themselves as characters, so that name is currently sulking in my “to-use” pile until I manage to find somebody to fit.
In The Hand He Dealt, the character of Harry was originally called Kris. Oh, how I tried to write him. I rewrote that first chapter about five times and just could not picture Kris at all. In the meantime, Harry kept screaming at me from the “that’s too obvious” box I’d put him in (when I planned the story, Daniel Radcliffe was in Equus and was naked all over the place – what chance did I have?) and in the end, he won. Kris was struck out and Harry took over.
And that’s another thing – I have a tendency to use a lot of As. Not for every character, as I’d originally thought, although there are a lot of them in Hand. But if I’m going to write from a character’s perspective, for some reason there always has to be an A in the name somewhere. There was one exception years ago when I wrote a Kirsty, but she hasn’t popped up again for some time.
Astra was easy – she was a character I’d used before and knew I could write with. Sasha was originally Sarah (short for Sarah Michelle – I was watching a lot of Buffy) but I couldn’t get to grips with Sarah – she was too sweet.
And Ash? He was originally a lovable idiot whose full name was Ashton. When I re-imagined his character as an arrogant jock, the name hung around, probably because he was ash blond. His full name became Ashley, which a few people have told me is a girly name, but I’ve seen enough NFL players named Ashley to know Ash wouldn’t get much earache about it.
Does anyone else struggle with character names? Has anyone else’s brain locked over a badly named character in a book?
The Hand He Dealt
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Nobody can beat Astra Scott in playing the hand she’s dealt.
Astra Scott likes to live life to the full. A sorority girl and Gaming Management student, she spends her days studying and practising guitar, and her nights partying or working at the Fountain Casino, where she has an internship as part of her final semester. The only blot on her landscape is Ash Drake, her best friend Sasha’s boyfriend. Arrogant, physical and blond, Ash has never forgiven Astra for her rejection months earlier and enjoys annoying her at every turn.
But when Astra’s boyfriend Harry reveals a shocking secret, Astra responds in the only way she can think of: by finding a way to take on a more attractive, masculine role in the relationship. Her experimentation with sex toys finds a surprising outlet in Sasha, but when Ash discovers their secret and wants to get involved, Astra finds herself torn between dislike and desire…and as their undercover relationship grows, Astra finds herself falling in love, a path she feels can only end in heartbreak. For Ash may be the only man whose own fantasies are a match for hers, but can she knowingly steal his affections from her best friend?
Reader Advisory: This book contains one scene of pegging/strap-on penetration and scenes of ménage and FF intimacy.