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I’ve always wanted to do a post about the tidbits and little things about my  book, “The Dark Proposal”. It’s just an opportunity to share with others with what went into creating this story and its characters.

I was reading an article on the Huffington Post about some old fashioned names making a comeback, and that made me want to talk about how I came up with the names of my characters. Names are fun to discuss for some people, so here we go:

Claire McCormick: main character
Meaning:  “Bright”
Reason Behind Name: When I picked the name for my main character, I wanted it to be related to vampirism and her journey through the vampire world. Since Claire is related to the word, “clarity”, there is a sense that the main character will not be a dimwit during “The Dark Proposal”, nor the two follow-ups I am working on now. Also, Claire means “bright” which brings up thoughts of light, and vampires are rarely out in the sunlight, so there’s the vampire connection. Furthermore, her Irish last name, McCormick, means “son of Cormac” an Irish name that means “raven”. Ravens have dark connotations, perfect for this urban fantasy book. Also, McCormick has the family motto, “without fear”, which also works in this tale.

Trivia bit: Claire’s original last name was not McCormick but Maguire, which means “white” – hence vampirism! I had to change the surname when I discovered there is a Claire Maguire in Great Britain who is a rising indie singer. Not wanting anything to go wrong, I changed the last name.

Daniel Bertrand, neè Poncher: second main character, Claire’s boyfriend turned vampire-tormentor
Meaning: God is my judge
Reason Behind Name: I wanted to make sure I was choosing a name that only reflected the character, but also was common even back in medieval France where Daniel originates. I did a little research and found that Daniel was a regular name among French men in the 1300s. That was perfect because I also didn’t want to have an entirely different name for this character when his true nature was revealed. A different last name was fine, but not a first name as well. By the way, Bertrand is a very common French surname, while Poncher was the surname of a Parisian bishop in the Middle Ages. I wanted a name from that era, and Poncher seemed to work.

Samantha DiCarlo: One of Claire’s two roommates
Reason Behind Name: Samantha is a vivacious person, and I think when we hear this name, we think of someone who is full of life and doesn’t mince words. Claire’s roommate/best friend doesn’t. For her last name, I gave Samantha a simple one, DiCarlo, so no one unfamiliar with the pronunciation of certain Italian names, would not be confused.

Monica Alejandrez: Claire’s other roommate
Reason Behind Name: I didn’t want a name too popular among Hispanics, like Sofia or Isabella, or too stereotypical, like Maria. I saw Monica was common among this group, so that was a good choice. For her last name, however, I was insistent on not giving her a too common Hispanic surname, such as Diaz, Hernandez or Rodriguez. To give her one of those names would take away her individuality and kind of allow her to be stereotyped as just another Latina. When I came across the surname Alejandrez among the list of Mexican Olympians during the 2008 Beijing Games, I knew it was perfect. Monica became her own person that way.

Ava McCormick: Claire’s infant niece and goddaughter
Reason Behind Name: Besides Ava being a popular name in the United States these days, it also means “life”. I think that is perfect given the circumstances the baby’s Aunt Claire faces in “The Dark Proposal” and will face in the two follow-ups. There is a sense of irony to have someone with the name meaning “life” in a book about vampires, but it will work out in the end.

As for the other characters, there wasn’t much thought given to their names. The two vampires who created Daniel – Hilde and Michel – were created on a whim, though I wanted the female to be German because I felt there were too many French overtones in this book (I am a bit of a Francophile, that’s why). As for the names of the other vampires, Antonius, Carys and Yvette, also on a whim.

When it came to Claire’s family, I wanted names that reflected the times they were born in. Her parents, Frank and Judith, are in their mid-fifties, so those names were common in their day. Claire’s older brother, Zachary, has name popular with boys born in the late 1980s. Same with Kristina, Claire’s sister-in-law, though I wanted to put a twist to it and use “K” instead of “Ch”.

Oh, if you are wondering about where on earth I got the names of the Five Brothers, the original vampires, well sometimes a little creativity can come in handy! 🙂

So, that is a behind-the-scenes look at my novel, and a chance for me to talk about names because I am so fascinated with name meanings and how they relate to the people who have them. I may do this again with all my future books! 🙂

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