Dawn’s Rising – What is in a Name?

Well, I said I was going to post about Dawn’s Rising so here it is…

I have a thing with names, which are very important to me as it says a lot about a character. Some of my character names are just named randomly, or by instinct, or what might sound nice at the time. But most of the time when I am having trouble getting to know a character, it is because of their name, which probably doesn’t fit them quite right.

My crap-tastic cover for Dawn’s Rising. All I can say is: Isn’t Photoshop just awesome?

A lot of my characters are rarely called by their real or full names, either. Everyone always seems to have nicknames and I guess that’s how a lot of names are in real life. I was called “Manderz” for a good portion of my high school years, still am sometimes, actually. (And I won’t date people with certain names, either –this is true!)

The point:  You can learn a lot about a person from their name and a character, of course, tends to be the same way, too.

Here’s a peek at some of the characters in Dawn’s Rising:

Niel Overland: Goes by many names. Mostly “Niel” although he’s been also called “professor” “doctor” and “teacher” in his lifetime, which is rather long and most people (with a few as an exception) don’t know how old he is. To some demons, he is known as “Dark Shadow” and his real name given to him by his mother is “Nicholas.” He appears to be in his forties, with long, black hair, which is slightly graying and often pulled back in some kind of hair tie. He is one of the Immortal Seven, who are meant to find the lost keys.

Jennifer “Dawn” Desoto: Goes by the name of Dawn, which is her middle name, because she does not like the name Jennifer. Possibly because it’s a name given  her by her mother, who made her dress up in beauty contests up until she was a young teen. Her father was MIA most of her life – work and drink. Has a younger brother who was seven or eight when she left at eighteen, she supposes he must be about 13 now. Her family lives in the mid-west. She is tall, curvy and tan, thanks to her father’s Italian relatives. At eighteen, she left home for California to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress.

—In which I want to include the other ‘leading male’ role in the novel, but I am having trouble finding a name that suits him. I don’t want him to be a complete ass, but I also don’t want him to be a big softy and so far have not found a name that is in the middle.

In the book description, I have him as “Grant Holden,” which to me sounds way too stable for the character I have in mind. Well, Mr. Holden has a secret that only Niel knows about, as they are a lot closer than the other people under his employ.

…and that’s it for now! Some more, eventually, on my characters as I develop the story more. But, by typing up a character study, it really does help me feel like I know my characters. And of course, the few sentences up there, is only just a portion of what I know about them!



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