What’s in a Name?

AGbook3dOver the next few weeks I’m going to share a little more on some of the characters that make up Angelguard. Some of them will be re-appearing in the second installment of the Angelguard Chronicles: Wrestling with Shadows. More of that later down the track.

A question I’m often asked is how do you come up with the names for all your characters? Particularly as Angelguard has so many many of them.

Naming characters is a lot of fun and I can spend a great deal of time on particular names. I especially enjoy finding names for the angels and demons as does my wife, who was invaluable in helping me with the Angelguard cast.

I won’t go through the background of all of them, just a handful. For those of you who’ve read the novel and may be curious about a particular character, feel free to ask me a question in the comments below.

Let’s start with some of the humans.

Thierry Le Bon

Thierry was the first human character I created in January 2003. He appears on the first page dreaming while in a semi-comatose state in a hospital bed having survived a bomb blast at a football stadium in London.

150px-Thierry_Henry

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com

In the original draft that football stadium was Highbury, the home of Arsenal. They were playing a New Year’s Eve match against fellow Londoners Chelsea. Thierry and his nephew, Jerome, were avid Chelsea supporters.

I’m passionate about English football and in particular Liverpool FC, having supported them for over 40 years. The detail of the actual match and venue disappeared through the various re-drafts as it wasn’t important for the reader.

Back to Thierry. Anyone familiar with English football in the last 15 years will have heard of a striker by the name of Thierry Henry. He spent most of his career at Arsenal. A magnificent player in his heyday and Thierry is still playing with the New York Red Bulls in the MLS in America.

As regards his surname I wanted to emphasize his French-ness and hence the “Le Bon.” Thierry is of African/French descent as many of the French are, including some of their great footballers. And no it had nothing to do with Simon LeBon of Duran Duran fame.

Loren Summers

I wrote Angelguard in distinct parts. Part 1 was dubbed “Thierry’s Story” and Part 2 “Loren’s Story”.

Loren was one of those names that I just wrote when I started her story. I didn’t contemplate alternatives. Loren forced herself to be cast.

The one author’s books I’ve read the most are Clive Cussler. I estimate I’ve read 60+ of his over the years and I continue to. His original hero was a man by the name of Dirk Pitt. Dirk’s a great fictional hero. His longtime companion and eventual wife was a lady by the name of Loren Smith, a congresswoman from Colorado.

I’ve always liked the name Loren and worked with a lady with the name early in my career. I think it was a name that was in sub-conscious and out it came.

Jack Haines

Guess what, Part 3 was called “Jack’s Story”.

There is no great yarn with his name. I like the name Jack. So much so, I was keen for my second son to be called Jack, however, Jake from Melrose Place (remember him?) won out in the end.

Jack Haines had a good ring to it. Like Jack Ryan. Well I thought so. And just the right kind of name for a novel’s hero.

I might leave it there and do some of the supernatural ones next time.

Whose one of your favorite fictional characters names? What is it about their name that appeals to you? I’d love to know.

6 replies
  1. Peter Younghusband
    Peter Younghusband says:

    Ian, I wondered where you got the name Thierry Le Bon from and I thought Loren Summers name was familiar! I have also read many of Cussler’s books and very familiar with Dirk and Loren. Did not make the connection!! I agree with you about Jack Haines being a good name and sounds good.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] characters in Angelguard, may I suggest you read the first two parts. The first one features the human characters and the second, the angelic ones. In this post I will share a little about the lead demonic […]

  2. […] I mentioned last week, I love naming the characters in my writing. In that post I took you through the three leading […]

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