What’s in a Name? A Guest Post by Amy Durham

Today, we’re spending time with Amy Durham–parent, writer of young adult fiction, and music teacher. Amy DurhamAmy’s new YA, Once Again, recently hit the shelves, and she blogs at amy-durham.blogspot.com. Take it away, Amy…

What’s in a name? Well…a lot. When I was a young girl, names were a kind of hobby for me. I’d spend long hours thinking about what I’d name my children, experimenting with different first and middle names to see how they sounded together, and…yes, I’ll admit it…even adding the last name of a boy I secretly liked. In my day job as a middle school teacher, I’ve discovered that many girls do the same thing. I think it’s because even as kids, we realize that names are important, names give us identity beyond just what people call us or what we sign on a check. Names help define us. I’ve never known any parent who just randomly chose a name for their baby. Parents spend lots of time talking about names in their quest to assign the perfect name to the child they’ve created.

A similar process happens when I name the characters in my books. There’s thought and consideration…nothing at all like drawing a name out of the hat. The first thing I consider is the personality of the most important character in the story. Is there a name that embodies and illustrates the personality I intend to create for the character? Sometimes, the name jumps right into my mind. Other times, I must go on a search. The search is never the same. Sometimes I have a beginning consonant in mind, and I’ll look up names that start with that letter. Other times, I visit one of the many baby-naming sites on the web and search for names with a particular meaning. Other times, I mentally flip through the names of characters on TV shows that I like to watch. Once I’ve nailed down the name of the main character, which is the toughest (and most critical, in my opinion), I move on to the other characters. This many times proves easier, because there are names that naturally “go” together, and since I already have the main character names, I find it easier to assign names to other characters.

For me, it’s a combination of embodying the characters’ personalities, fitting the vibe of the story, and just generally “sounding good.” Some of my characters names? Layla and Lucas…Phoebe and Todd…Jessie and Will…Zoe and Adrian. For each set of characters, I looked for names that would not only be identifiers, but would weave themselves into the DNA of the character!

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Once Again

The phenomenon of reincarnation simmers beneath the surface of Sky Cove, Maine, where teenagers Layla Bradford and Lucas Ellis experience frightening visions of their past lives – and discover that the evil that killed them in their previous existence is alive and well –  and coming for them again. Can they find the truth in time to stop the same tragedy from unfolding once again?

Lucas and Layla’s story is now available in eBook format at:

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Once-Again-Sky-Cove-ebook/dp/B0071NTTV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328998797&sr=8-1)

B&N (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-again-amy-durham/1108428186)

Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/126513)

Print version will be available from Amazon soon.