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Next step as I stumble through this storyline is the love interest. If you’ve read any of my books, you know he is bound to be a manly man with a manly name.
Manly men have monosyllabic names. It’s a Rule. Deal with it:
Sam. Will. Mike. Rourke. Rand. Greg. Tom. Steve. Ross. Rob.
Here are some manly names you will never see in a Wiggs book, because I’m related to them so I can’t write about them as fictional characters (shudder): Nick, Jay, Jon, Dave…all good names, but too close to home to use.
The initial and final sounds of a male monosyllabic name are like muscular biceps framing a massive chest. I’m not kidding here. Pay attention, you might learn something.
Okay, they can have ONE MORE syllable if you promise to give them really cool surnames:
Ryan Calhoun. Jesse Morgan. Dylan Kennedy. Justin McCord.
If they’re really special and have a following even though their book is not yet written, they might get to have a totally special name:
Julian Gastineaux, anybody? Logan O’Donnell?
FYI – here are some move names you will NEVER find attached to the hero of a Wiggs book: Winston. Percy (even though it worked fine for the Scarlet Pimpernel). Vivian, Uriah, Seymour, Poindexter. To name a few.
Oh, and another thing. The name has to sound good next to their girlfriend’s. The female love interest in this one is Tess (short for Theresa) Lindberg. So I wouldn’t want Jess or Jesse. That’s just too cute.
His surname has to work with the girl’s name too, since she has to live with it the rest of her happily-ever-after life. So, Farraday. Someone mentioned that earlier. I’m thinking Quinn. Quinn Farraday. But maybe not, because Quinn + Tess looks a little suspicious, like someone just made them up out of think air. Lemme think on this.
What are your thoughts? What are some of your fave fictional manly names?
lip balm nirvana:
Sometimes they’re just so obvious. Of course his name is Eddie Haven, what else would it be? Isadora Peabody. Eliza Flyte. Michelle Turner. Olivia Bellamy. Mary Dare. Will Bonner. They just popped into my mind and stuck, helping to shape the character.
Other times (um, now), it all feels so artificial. I think it was Elmore Leonard who said (I’m paraphrasing), “Don’t let your characters’ names sound like made-up names.”
So here’s where I am. I’m writing about two sisters, Isabel and Tess. That’s fine, they sound like sisters. The surname is what’s tripping me up. Due to a backstory that accesses an event in WWII, they need a Danish or maybe Swedish surname.
So far, all I’ve come up with are names that sound like Ikea furniture, or…well, you be the judge.
The massively talented gals at Pens Fatales were nice enough to post this article last month. Here it is again in case you missed it. I would love to hear your strategies for carving out writing time.
I hear it from emerging writers all the time. I’ve got a great idea for a novel. I’m going to sit down and write it as soon as I…
…get my day job under control
…get my final kid into kindergarten
…out of jail
…get my finances in order
…fix my marriage
…finish painting the house
…pay off the car
…clean the can opener
…clean the rain gutters
…get the puppy housebroken
…retire from my job
…finish watching the third season of “Weeds”
…get my Bachelor’s…Master’s…PhD…LLB…MD
…pay off my student loans
…read all the Stephanie Plum books
…check in with my nineteen thousand Facebook friends
…upgrade my computer
…landscape the yard
…take a vacation
…host my book group
…teach my teenager to drive
…finish knitting this sweater
…forgive my parents
…get over my fear of failure
…get over my fear of success
…get permission from my parents/spouse/children/therapist
…hire an agent
…learn to use the subjunctive case
…stop smoking/drinking/playing online games
…figure out the business of publishing
…lose 20 pounds so I look good in my author photo…
You name it, and a procrastinating writer has said it.
Here’s a dirty little secret. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the cruel reality is this. There will never be a good time to write.
Life will always intrude. That’s what life is. Be glad for that. If you have no life, you have nothing to write about.
The good news is, there’s a simple solution. Make time for the things that are important to you. If writing your story is important, make time for it. Simple as that. Turn off the TV, leave the dishes undone, close your e-mail, grab a notebook and pen, and tell your family, “Don’t interrupt me unless your eyes are bleeding.” You’ll be surprised by the respect they give you.
The way you spend your day is the way you spend your life. So quit being your own worst enemy and start being your own best friend. Make time to write, even if you don’t have time.
Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers’ group in a 17-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” and her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.
The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. Her latest novel, now available, is called Lakeshore Christmas. Readers can learn more on the web at www.susanwiggs.com and on her lively blog at www.susanwiggs.wordpress.com.
…at any stage of life. One of my favorite people in the world is getting married today. This is the second time around for this adorable couple. Their kids are grown and flown, and a whole new chapter is opening for them. Inspiring! In a very real way. I think I need to write about a second-chance couple. And check out her outfit. Breathtaking, right down to the ruby slippers.
A quick reminder–post a comment on this blog:
As a special thank-you to readers who find us on our inaugural post, we have a contest! Please comment about any Harlequin book you have read and enjoyed and we will enter you into a draw for a copy of New York Timesbestselling author Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Christmas. We’ll be giving away five copies of Susan’s heartwarming holiday tale. Comment with your name and the Harlequin book you read and enjoyed by October 23 and we’ll randomly select five winners to receive this wonderful hardcover book. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only. One entry per person. For full contest details, click here.
After the Daisy question, probably the most frequent query I’ve had from readers this month is this:
Q: “Why did you publish the latest ‘Lakeshore Chronicles’ book, Lakeshore Christmas,* in hardcover, after hooking readers into the series with paperback originals?”
A: I’m glad this question has been asked (and asked and asked) by readers. It is annoying to get hooked into a series at once price point–pocketbook-friendly paperbacks–and then to find the next eagerly awaited book as a hardback that costs more than twice as much.
The explanation is, it’s a balancing act between fulfilling the mass market needs (individual readers) with the hardcover market reads (libraries and hardcover fans). Having low-cost paperbacks available is a great way to build a readership. A reader is more likely to take a chance on an author she’s never read before if she only has to invest $8 or so in the book.
On the other hand, the lack of a hardcover edition creates huge problems for the public library. With their dwindling budgets, libraries can’t afford to buy many paperbacks, because they tend to fall apart. So that creates problems for libraries with tough choices to make.
When I decided to write a Christmas book about saving the library, the best choice seemed to be a hardcover edition, followed by a paperback edition a year later.
It’s not a perfect solution, and it doesn’t thrill me to ask paperback readers to wait. But anyone with a library card can read the book (or audio or large print edition) for free by taking this form to the local library and asking them to acquire the book.
That said, I should point out that the decision about a book’s format is made by the publisher. Sometimes the author is consulted, sometimes not. The publisher makes the call based on their goals and marketing research.
Question for readers–does your library provide a “patron request” service? I’m happy to say mine does! Thank you, Kitsap Regional Library!
So Lakeshore Christmas is all about saving the library. In fictional Avalon, finances are tight and hard choices have to be made. One of the most painful cuts that has to be made is to the library. The citizens pull out all the stops to keep their library open.
Then I was getting dinner tonight when this story came on the air. In order to keep from closing, the children and citizens of Roy have mounted a grassroots campaign to save their library.
The book is fiction but the problem is all too real, and being played out across the country. I put my money where my mouth is, and sent my check (plus copies of the book and audio CD) right away.
Every little bit helps. If you can spare anything at all, please make your check out to Roy Friends of the Library. Here’s the address. Thank you!
Roy, Washington 98580
Just another day in the life:
- ___ wrote 1500 words on the book-in-progress
- ___ interviewed a chef for my next book
- ___ answered 40 e-mails, deleted around 100 unanswered
- ___ made a fleece jacket for Barkis
- ___ talked to Mom, daughter & sister on the phone
- ___ unpacked from booksigning trip last weekend, repacked for booksigning and writers’ conference this weekend.
- ___ got a royalty check for some backlist titles (thank you, Hachette)
- ___ went to the bank, went shopping (see above)
- ___ made a couple of bestseller lists with the new book
- ___ Oh, and another thing, drove the boat up onto the trailer. Why yes, that is me at the helm. What else am I going to do in all my spare time?
It is like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. Really. Except that making a mistake is a bit more expensive.