Names–or–A Little Known Fact About . . .

Temptation’s Warrior

TemptationsWarriorCoverLatestSmallNames can be trouble. When I had finished writing Temptiation’s Warrior and was getting ready to send it out for possible publication, I came across a review of a medieval set novel (like Temptation’s) by a big name author whose main characters were names Elf and Ranulf. I almost screamed. Those were the names of my hero and heroine too. My characters were Elfrieda and Ranulf. Hers were Eleanor and Ranulf. It wasn’t fair. Elf isn’t even a nickname for Eleanor. My Elf was also a running joke because Elf was freakishly tall for a woman. So I decided I had to change one name. I couldn’t change Elf (running joke and all that), but I did decide to find a new name for a hero.

Usually when you write a book you start thinking about those characters with those names and somehow they become those people. Stormy (in Wishful Thinking) was a silly name, but that’s how she introduced herself in my sub conscious and the name stuck. I even joked about it in the text. But she was  Stormy. Changing a name can be traumatic. A rose by any other name is NOT as sweet. I thought changing Ranulf would be just painful. (Ooo, a pun. You’ll see why.)

I did research on medieval names and discovered that the name Payne was fairly common. And when I found that name, suddenly I forgot all about Ranulf and discovered the hero’s real name was Payne. It sounds like TW Mollysuch a modern name, but it isn’t. So instead of being painful (Ha!) the name change made me like this book even more. And I really like this medieval romp that I wrote. It won a prestigious contest before it was published (The Molly).

Serendipity.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Little Known Fact About . . .

Wishful Thinking

When my heroine, Stormy, escapes from the magical Council in my book, she ends up on Black’s Beach in San Diego.

Photo by Ian Britton
Photo by Ian Britton

Black’s Beach is notorious for being an unofficial nude beach. It requires a hike down a cliff or access by boat. It is also the closest beach to UC San Diego, my alma mater. I admit to visiting Black’s Beach in my younger days, and I admit to exposing some parts of my body. But hey, I had just returned from my junior year abroad in Germany where such things are common.

StevensWishfulThinkingBy the way, Stormy appears there at midnight, dressed in a swanky red cocktail dress and high heels. Not the best beach attire or prime body viewing hours.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg.

Little Known Fact About . . .

A Matter of Honor.MatterOfHonorLatestSmall

doll
Bradley Doll, not Loraina.

My heroine, Lorane, was named after one of my favorite childhood dolls, Loraina. She was one of those big eye Bradley dolls that weren’t meant to be given as toys. A bachelor friend of my parents presented both me and my sister one for Christmas–he didn’t get that these weren’t playthings–and I did end up ruining her by giving her new makeup on her eyes with markers. But I still kept her. In fact she made it into my children’s childhoods. Loraina sat in my daughters’ closet, probably creeping them out.

I don’t know where the doll ended up. She’s either in my garage somewhere in a box, or I finally threw her out because her legs got broken and she was old (And am I the only one who doesn’t like to think about throwing out toys because I’m afraid I’ll hurt their feelings? And this is from before Toy Story.), but whenever I think about Lorane from A Matter of Honor, I remember that doll.

Lorane, the character, looks nothing like Loraina, though.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg

Little Known Fact About . . .

The Wish List

StevensTheWishListI’m not a huge fan of chocolate, but I love flour based sweets (doughnuts, cake, danishes, etc.) When I make chocolate chip cookies, I leave out the chocolate chips and only add a few, two or three, to each one once they are on the baking sheet, but I always leave half the batch totally naked with no chips whatsoever. My biggest complaint about store bought chocolate chip cookies is that they have too many chips, so I usually make my own.

So when the fairy godmother Rose makes Kristin a treat in The Wish List, she bakes her chocolate chipless cookies. They’re Kristin’s favorite cookie. And mine too.

Lest you think I’m totally without the chocolate gene, I will eat Swiss chocolate (Lindt) with hazelnuts. My chocolate must have lots of stuff in it. But no fruit. That’s just wrong.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton

Little Known Fact About . . .

A Matter of Convenience

MatterOfConvenienceLatestSmallI started this book by turning to a blank page in a spiral notebook while sitting in one of my college courses. I filled that notebook and then another. Yup, this book’s first draft was entirely longhand. I have since gone back to writing in longhand because it’s a different experience and one that I find more freeing (Try it sometime), but this one started them all.  When I had transcribed it into the computer, I threw out those notebooks. My husband yelled at me for that.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton

 

Little Known Fact About . . .

. . . Ever Yours.

EverYoursLatestSmallMy hero, Tamberlake is not named after Justin Timberlake, whether you believe that or not–the similarity didn’t occur to me until after the fact. Tamberlake has a pet duck. His name is Humphrey. The duck is named after Humphrey Bogart. I don’t know why. But when the duck needed a name I thought of Humphrey Bogart. And by the time I tried to dimiss the thought, the name had stuck. Yes, that quickly. I still don’t know why a duck reminded me of Humphrey Bogart.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thorndike

The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg

 

Little Known Fact …

…about The Falcon and the Wolf.

When I first started writing romance novels, my husband complained that the heroes were never engineers. So I made Gray an engineer. Okay, so he’s more of a medieval engineer than a modern one, but he’s an engineer nevertheless. In the book he designs a water delivery system — it’s really an Archimedes screw, but in that world there is no Archimedes.

FalconAndWolfLatestSmall Stay tuned for more random facts about my books.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton

The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg