Today Killian McRae joins me to share her thoughts on The Character of Names in her book, A Love By Any Measure.
Gabrielle has discovered a secret we writers have. Okay, perhaps it’s not a secret, and there have been a few others who’ve commented prior on similar subjects. (I recall distinctly a discussion in this regard in the Cliff Notes I had to accompany “David Copperfield.”) Truth is, we writers often put an excessive amount of thought and/or symbolism into the names of our characters. I’d like to share with you some of the derivations I used for naming characters in my historical romance, “A Love by Any Measure.”
Lord August Grayson
This one breaks fairly near the surface, doesn’t it? August is the hero of the romantic duo, and quite frankly, he is “august.” A British Lord, one knows he’s led a privileged life, yet his surname’s inclusion of “gray” was meant to imply that nothing in his family, his head or his heart is black and white. There are complexities to his demeanor, ones which are both his heritage and his making.
Okay, let me admit this first: I have no better reason for choosing “O’Connor” as my heroine’s surname than the fact that it gives up a nice rhythm. “Maeve,” however, derives from an Irish word meaning intoxicating. And yes, August finds Maeve quite intoxicating.
In every love triangle, there is the third point. This one has a bit of personal attachment. I didn’t choose Owen for any particular reason other than it sounds to my ears like an old-fashioned name. While it’s Scottish in origin, it was a name used in Southern Ireland in this time period. (In ALBAM, it’s mentioned in passing that Owen’s family originates from County Cork.) Murphy is a dedication to my very good friend who also shares this name. Like Owen, Ms. Murphy has distinguished herself as a person of integrity, determination, and of a hard-working nature. She, as he, exemplifies the importance of self-sacrifice and honesty. While some truly dark things happen to Owen Murphy in the space of ALBAM, Ms. Murphy has dealt with her setbacks and challenges in a way that inspires me. I hold her in awe.