Thursday Author Blog Hop – Names

On time this time. 😀

Thursday Author Blog Hop Question 24 March 2011:
Characters- Are the names of your characters in your novels important? What about the titles of your novels?

It depends on what name I’m writing under. When I’m writing as D. Renee Bagby, the heroine’s name is important because that’s the first thing the reader will see as it is the title of my books. Rather than struggle with clever titles, I decided to simply name the books after the heroine. I know a few other authors do that with heroes.

I chose this route because I’d heard a while back that some readers were totally turned off from a book simply because of the hero/ine’s name. I figured, why not put the name out front so they know what it is without even touching the book.

As well, it helps me to instantly remember plots and storylines when people ask me about specific books. So it’s as much a cheat as anything else.

When writing as Zenobia Renquist, I try to have the name of the heroine in the title somehow. Again, that’s my little mnemonic cheat. It also means my title won’t be reminiscent of some other author’s book. It doesn’t always work out that I can put the heroine’s name in the title, but I do try.

For naming my characters (under either name), I usually try to go with name meanings. I have several baby naming websites saved for that purpose. I can look up names based on ethnicity and name meanings to fit a character’s personality. Or sometimes what I name that character creates their personality. It all depends.


  1. I struggle with titles. I like the idea of naming your book with the heroine's name. I never thought of that. Not sure it would work for some of my storie's. I'm working on one now the working title is Meghan's Story. I might just keep it.

  2. Hi Renee!

    I have to say Ginger is SO right – this is the reason I love the author blog hop – I'm always finding out new and interesting things about you all 🙂

    Naming your book with the heroines name in the title is something totally new to me. Thanks for sharing!

    Here's my latest blog hop post! Thanks for playing along 🙂


  3. @Roseanne – I like it. Simple is best. Hopefully your editor will like it too.

    @angel – Thanks for stopping by.

    @Dianne – I think searching baby name lists becomes just another time sink after a while. But it's something that has to be done or else the characters will never get named.

    @Viviane – I do something like that. I have to imagine my heroine screaming out his name without laughing. 😛

    ~ Renee

  4. I agree with all the above comments, hopping is way fun and you really do learn alot about everyone else as well as some new ways to think about things like names. It is one of the most difficult for me…and I hate boring…it's gotta 'work'.

  5. I like the way you name your books, Renee, and I like those other comments as well. I would definitely like to find a neat way to name my books. Sue Grafton has her alphabet series, you and your name titles, can't remember the author who uses titles of fairy tells and sometimes the titles are slightly changed but not often. and Robin Cook uses his diseases and such to name his books. Gosh im only a homemaker what in the world can i use? 🙁

  6. @Amy – We learn new things about the authors but also new ways to look at things. It's fun to see how many varied ways there are to answer the same question.

    @Robinson – I think Sue Grafton was a genius for that. You knew exactly how many books would be in the series and, at a glance, know the book order. Everyone has their own niche. You'll find yours.

    ~ Renee

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