One of the hardest things as a parent is choosing the name for your child. I guess we all have favourite names, names we really like, but when it comes down to giving them to an actual child there are so many things to consider. I loved the name Rufus (my husband wasn’t so keen) but we already have a child whose name begins with an’R’ and I thought it would just be too confusing. We also liked the name Ursula, pretty I thought, and means ‘little bear’ which I thought was rather charming… until a relative said ‘Urshula, Urshula, you can’t call a child Urshula’… so we didn’t. I also liked the names Freddie and Erica for girls – my daughter says she would never have forgiven me if we’d named her that… A friend wanted to name her child Sam, but when he was born he just didn’t look like a Sam.

The main character in my new novel is very excited because he and his wife are expecting a child, and they are going through the same difficulties most parents do about names… His name is Thomas, hers is Kylie, their little boy is Kenneil, so they want to avoid names beginning with T or K. They don’t particularity want to name their child after members of the family, much as they love them, and they also want something individual but not weird or odd or too distinctive, nor so unusual that people don’t know how to spell it or even pronounce it. Thomas likes old-fashioned names like Lilla or Isabella, Kylie likes more modern names… and little Kenneil thinks the baby should be called Pugwash after his favourite pirate – or Pimlico if it’s a girl after a character in a children’s story.

My problem is that I think they have to decide by the end of the book… Hmmm… my children are grown up but I’m back looking at baby names again!

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