In my other novels, various people have criticised – in the nicest way, my choice of names for my characters. Sometimes my characters arrive in my head with names already attached, sometimes the names come first and then the characters as with my story of the Radwinter family. Sometimes I choose names for particular and carefully thought out reasons, sometimes I struggle even to name my poor anonymous people!
With Flipside everyone has perfectly normal names and to prove it, here they are:
- Kiran Paul and his sister Jaz: they are half Indian and her name is really Jaswanti, but I’m sure you’ll allow me Jaz.
- Lesleyann: Kiran’s wife
- Sarah: her friend
- David Sullivan: known as Des because of his initials, and various members of his family, Daniel, Catherine, Gerard, Marie, James, Helen, Philip, Mark
- Magnus: David’s best friend
- Denise and Steve: David’s ex-wife and her husband
- Marley and Luther: David and Denise’s children, twin boys, Samantha and Debbie their step-sisters
- Bradleigh Howarth: Denise’s father
- Terry Catt: an ex-colleague and ex-lover of Jaz
- colleagues from school: James Hunt (no, not the racing driver) Mitzi, Mrs Armstrong, Gordon Wildbore (Wildbore is a common Oldham name where the story is set) Carl the caretaker
- Miss Minnishin: Jaz’s landlady (okay, that is a little unusual)
- Miss Deerpark: runs a writing group
- Eric and Derek Merrick – locals
All quite normal and ordinary! I really do take a lot of trouble over names, and do a lot of research to make sure they are contemporary to the time the characters would have been born. Flipside is set in the early 1990’s, so the children’s names reflect the fashion then.