Coming up with great character names can be a daunting task. I can imagine it’s almost like the angst new parents go through when trying to name their ‘soon to be’ child. You have to consider a name that won’t get them punched on the playground because it makes them look weak, or have them scaring away potential friends because it sounds too mean, or odd. This is especially crucial when writing our main characters. We want our hero/heroine to be just as accepted as our child, or to project an image to the reader of that meanie protagonist that all of us have experienced at least once in our lives. It’s tough enough when it’s a contemporary, but throw in a little science fiction and you just pile on the additional angst of getting it right.
For a contemporary, I’m pretty sure that authors try to stay away from naming their hero’s after an ex or the bully that tripped them every chance they got. Those are usually saved for the bad guys. For the leading ladies, it’s a name that you wouldn’t mind carrying yourself, or it’s a derivative of someone you know or admire. I know that I do when naming my “Earthlings.” Basically, all the baggage and memories we carry will usually lead us down the path of defining the names to fit our character’s personalities. So, when you go and throw in some galaxies far, far away…
Well…I’m pretty sure none of us graduated with a guy named “Nox Ton.” Nope, he wasn’t in my class. He’s just one of the bad guys in this latest installment of the Fueled By Lust series. I didn’t sit at the lunch table with a hunky guy named Drusus, either (Durn it!). So, how did I come up with my lineup of Drusus, Severus, Cato, Lucien, Caelius, Kallon, Ulixes, and many more? You might see a pattern here. If not, let me explain.
These are all strong Latin/Greek names. I literally dreamed of these hot, alpha males long before I ever typed their names on my keyboard. Their build, coloring, attitude, and accent told me that even though they were forming from pure mist/energy, there was some human element to their genetics. After figuring out that their original ancestors were from Rome, it was easy to scour the internet and research that area of the world, and my character names were finally revealed to me. Yep, just jumped right off the screen at me, which garnered a quick, “Ah ha! There you are!” moment. It was very nice to also see that the meaning behind their names fit well with their personalities, or fate.
For those characters that didn’t have a Greek lineage and would never have had any influence from Earth, I discovered that I tended to name them in the same manner as they spoke. Guttural, choppy language drew out the “Nox Ton” villain mentioned earlier. I pictured him as speaking in a stern, clipped manner, and the short, double/split naming convention just flew out easily after that. Bottom line, there’s one thing I stay away from. If the name hangs on the tongue or stutters around in the mind, then you’re going to have a lot of readers upset that the beautiful imagery they’ve been wondering through just got interrupted as they try to decipher “Xyeath’rxthu” in the middle of a sword swing. I mean, really?
Not all readers will garner the same warm feelings or angst that you want to associate with your characters. Some will even mispronounce the names, and that’s okay. Everyone brings their own history with names to the table. As long as you wrap a great storyline around it, I think most of us can be forgiven.
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Emperor Lucien Tarquinius agrees to retrieve the future king of a race that annihilated every Insedi female and doomed his planet’s future. Why would he do such a thing? Simple. He cannot have his enemy retake the throne and continue the war against Insedivertus. Yet, an unexpected encounter changes everything.
Just one day away from collecting the reluctant ruler, the royal transport inexplicably disappears from its flight path. As the empire scrambles to find their missing emperor, Lucien embarks on a journey that challenges his intellect, tests his endurance, and pushes his emotions to the breaking point.
Tana Jameson wonders who she pissed off to warrant an investigative assignment aboard a cargo ship in the middle of the Atlantic. A moment of curiosity jettisons her into an alien world beyond her imagination and directly into the arms of a man stepping right out of her wildest fantasy.
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Fueled by Lust series:
About Celeste Prater:
I was born and raised in a small town between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin. Wanting to see more than my small Texas town, I joined the Marines, which satisfied my craving to see more of the U.S. and drive to see if I could be one of the few and the proud.
A firm believer in educating the mind, I have achieved several advanced degrees, the latest being a Masters of Science.
My true love is writing erotic romance, especially about alien hunks that know how to treat their females.
Drusus, Severus, Cato, Lucien, Petrus, Maxim, Caelius, and many more have swirled in my dreams until I had to bring them to life and allow them to find love within the pages of the FUELED BY LUST book series.