When I started writing the first of what are now eight volumes of detective stories, “The Curse Of The Ancient Mask”, I was going to call my schoolkid hero Ed Deadly. I thought that sounded like a great name for a detective.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a great name for this particular detective. When you hear the name 'Ed Deadly', what springs to mind? A hardboiled gumshoe? A darkened alleyway, a turned up trenchcoat, a fedora pulled low over the eyes...? Well, that's not what my detective is like, at all. He's still at school, and as a character he's miles away from Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade. 'Ed Deadly' just didn't suit him.
So he needed a new name. OK, something-Smart, because he's quick-witted, he's intelligent. What-Smart?... Something beginning with S! Simon Smart? No. Steve Smart? Yuck. Sid Smart? Definitely not. In the end, out of sheer desperation, I logged on to a website that suggests names for babies. I clicked on 'Boys', then 'S' and scrolled down the list. I literally shut my eyes and stabbed at the screen.
Saxby. A medieval name, apparently, originally of Viking origin.
Perfect! From that moment on, his name was Saxby Smart. Well, at least it's memorable!How do other writers name their characters? Are there 'villain' and 'hero' names? Leave a comment...