Fan Question: July 9th, 2015

Good evening, everyone! I hope you all have enjoyed your week as I have. I have spent the past few days on vacation as I rest my mind and prepare myself to begin the writing process once again. Today, I’m stopping by to answer a fan question that was brought to my attention.

How did you come up with your main characters names in What Hurts The Most and are they of any significance?

For Caroline, I needed to find something that was a bit old fashioned but also appeared wise and strong. After I decided the age that I wanted her character to be, I did a little research and checked out some old census records. I read through hundreds of names from that decade and picked out my top three. Then, I looked up each name and read up on meanings. In Italian, Caroline means strong, and in English, it means joy. Once I read those things, it was a no brainer, Caroline was her name.

As for Logan, he required a little more digging. I wanted it to be a simple name like Caroline, but it had to flow with hers too. I ended up going through a census for his age and picked a couple names that I liked most. Logan was at the top of my list and when I read his name with hers, it just seemed right. My heart was already set on the name, but I looked up the meaning anyway, and when I did, I knew it was the perfect fit. A quiet but capable leader, it read.

Both of those characters weren’t nearly as difficult as Nick. It took me days to find the perfect fit. I looked through census records for hours but nothing jumped out at me. Even though he was killed in the first few paragraphs of the book, he was still a main character throughout and even into the sequel. I couldn’t mess this up, I knew I couldn’t, and the pressure was on.

As the days went by, I continued thinking on names and even in high school, at the time, I found myself scanning the names of the people around me, in hopes that one of them would stick. Silly, isn’t it? Yeah, I know, and it didn’t work either. Eventually, I went home one day and just started typing the first chapter. When I got to the paragraph were I introduced Caroline’s fiancé, I stopped and stared at the blinking cursor for at least ten minutes. Why was it so hard to think of a name? I had already named the rest of the cast, but here I was, stuck on the dead guy. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, thinking of just how silly I was being. And that’s when it hit me…

Nick.

Such a simple name with such a powerful meaning.

People’s victory and the desire to serve others.

So there you have it. The three most important characters in my book and yet the dead guy was the hardest to name. Funny, right? Have any other questions you’d like me to answer? Submit them in a comment below or on my Facebook!

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