Names are so important – in real life and in fiction; sometimes my characters names come to me in a flash and they are perfect, sometimes I have to agonise for ages. Usually the main characters sort themselves out quite easily, it’s the others who seem to have difficult naming themselves. I do a lot of research on the names I choose, looking at backgrounds and nationalities, and fashions and ages. I do like unusual names, but I try to keep within the bounds of reasonableness.

In the latest Radwinter story I’m writing at the moment, a little baby was called Jericho, shortened by his parents to Rico… it sounded OK, but somehow I wasn’t quite sure, and I’ve been pondering and musing on it ever since I named the child… Suddenly it came to me; I wasn’t really happy with it and I would have to rename the little boy, and he became Marko. There is a particular reason for the spelling, which is explained in the story, but it’s the sort of name which in real life could easily become plain Mark, couldn’t it!

I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve been working on editing a completed novel; I started writing it probably about ten years ago, finished it about five years ago, and this year I have begun to edit it. It was very long, too complicated, over-written… and my style has changed and maybe (I hope) refined so there is a lot to do. There are parts which have had to be rewritten, and aspects changed, and continuity made more continuous! There are many characters in it, people of all ages, from a ninety-five year old grandma to a two-year old child, so there is a range of names. It is about a family of cousins, Antoine, Garry, James, Tyrone, Nick and Alex… quite ordinary names, and their wives, Shane, Ruby, Carla, Zofia and Alison (one cousin is unmarried… and Zofia is Bulgarian) So quite ordinary names, yes, ordinary names… but the main character, from whose perspective most of the story is told is called Ismène…

I can’t now say why that was her name, but ever since I started writing it she has been Ismène… over the last few days, maybe a week, it has occurred to me that this isn’t the right name for her… She has been Ismène for ten years, but I just know I’ve got to change it. And so I have… she is now Emma…

Will she stay Emma? I think so…

If you haven’t yet read my Radwinter stories, or my other e-books, here is a link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

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