If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.














August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.


KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Choosing The Right Name For Your Character by Marilyn Meredith


Writers often agonize over what to name a new character, wanting it to suggest something about the person’s personality and their part in the plot.

Over the years, I’ve heard/read much advice about naming characters: If writing historical fiction, make sure the name was in use during the time period.  Don’t give all your characters names that rhyme or start with the same letter.  For modern times, use the names that were popular during the time the person would’ve been born.

The popularity of names changes along with the years.  For the last few years, parents are giving their newborns older names. In my own family we have an Ethan, Emily, Olivia, Madeline, Eleanor, Priscilla and recently I saw a newborn given the name, Genevieve.

Biblical names have always been popular such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—but some of the Old Testament names are also finding favor like Jeremiah, Asher, Adriel, Julius, and Abigail. And of course, Adam, Nathan and Nathaniel are still popular.

In my own family we have some of those names I’ve already mentioned, but on the more unusual side we have girls named Aria, Aleena, Avyanna and Khloe.

When I was naming my own children I thought naming my first daughter Dana, after a Russian ice skater was so clever, only to find a few years later that many others gave their daughters the same name.

The Internet has made it so much easier to find the names for a character. You can look up ethnic names, what names mean, and even unusual names.  But you still have to choose the one you think fits your character best.

When I was trying to choose a name for a Native American heroine, I used my great-grandmother’s name, Tempe Crabtree. No, she wasn’t Indian, but the name sounded right to me. Because I live in an area similar to the setting for the Tempe Crabtree series, for names of new characters, I often pick names from graduation programs, finding a first name or last that sounds like the person I’m going to depict.

Do any of you have other ideas for choosing names for characters in your books?

Tangled Webs Blurb: Too many people are telling lies: The husband of the murder victim and his secretary, the victim’s boss and co-workers in the day care center, her stalker, and Detective Milligan’s daughter.


Marilyn Meredith is the author of many published novels, including the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest A Cold Death from Mundania Press, and coming soon, Spirit Winds. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Tangled Webs, from Aakenbaaken &Kent. She once lived in a beach town much like Rocky Bluff. She has many friends and relatives in law enforcement. She’s a member of MWA, two chapters of Sisters in Crime and serves on the board of Public Safety Writers Association. 




10 comments:

Margaret Turkevich said...

I use various school and church directories for surnames, plus the Sunday obit page.

KM Rockwood said...

Sometimes characters spring to mind, already with a name they would not let you change, and other times, I have to do some research to select an appropriate name. Your suggestions are helpful.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I had fun writing the post.

Carla Damron said...

Names are so important. I develop tics with them. Suddenly I'll realize: why is does every character in this novel's name begin with D? Or end with A? Fine tuning characters can mean fine tuning names, so it's all part of the process.

Grace Topping said...

Thanks for the tips, Marilyn. I got so desperate for names of minor characters, that I began taking names off reference books on my shelf and signatories from certificates and diplomas on my wall. I also tried to include ethnic names. After years of working on my manuscript, I ended up changing my main characters' names. Hard to do, but the new names work better.

Gloria Alden said...

This was very interesting. I named my first born son John because it was my father's name and I liked the name. My 2nd son was named Joe because when I was a teenager there was a song that had Joey in the title. Then I named my third child Susan sort of after my sister Suzanne, and then my fourth child Mary Elizabeth because I liked the name. As for the characters in my books or stories I just pick out something I think fits and isn't a repeat of any of my other characters. Sometimes it's just a name I pick out of my newspaper.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I've always enjoyed choosing my characters' names. Thank you all for commenting! I appreciate it.

Marja said...

I try to pick names that suit the character, but in general I use fairly common names that I feel the reader can relate to. Great post, Marilyn, as usual.

Lida Sideris said...

I'm with you, Marilyn. I have fun choosing character names. When I hear or read a real-life name that I like, I jot it down for future use. Also, I sometimes use names of people I know (with permission) and they get a kick out of the character fashioned out of the name. I love the Tempe Crabtree name and the mysteries! Great post.

John Schembra said...

Great info, Marilyn. Being of Italian heritage, I tend to use Italian names. My protagonist in my SFPD Inspector series four of my books is Vince Torelli, and in my stand alone supernatural thriller, he is Nico Guardino. I enjoy reading your blogs!