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June 13, 2013

Writer Wrangler: Donna Grant on Character Names

I always wonder how authors pick names for their characters because some of them are horrible and some are really cool and truly exemplify the personalities of their fictional alter-egos. 

Best-selling author, Donna Grant, is here today to give us a little inside info on how she picks hers plus a little character profile on Charon Bruce!



Character Names & Personalities

One of the things that really connects me to a character is their name. I get asked a lot how I come up with my names. I have a couple of different ways that I do it. If I’m coming up with a new series, then I bring out my list of names I have used to make sure I don’t use them again (talk about confusing a reader – lol).

If it’s a historical series, I go to my character naming source book and jot down names (male and female) that I like. Then I’ll do a search online and try to find names for a certain time period, again writing down the ones I like. For fantasy names, I have several online generators that give me lots of possibilities.

Sometimes, if I already have an idea of a character’s personality I might be able to match up names from the list. Other times I have to go back to the book and more online research.

I’ve learned that finding male names is fairly easy for me, as is matching them to the right characters. Female names are an entirely different kettle of fish. I’ve had heroines that I changed their names multiple times until I found the right one. Either the hero didn’t like it or the heroine didn’t. I mean, if the hero can’t shout out the female’s name while in the throws of passion, then something is amiss. J

When I moved into contemporary paranormal, my heroes remained immortal, so I had to keep that ancient feel to their names, but I got to have fun with the female names like I never had before. I used Dani, Ronnie, Saffron, and one of my favorites – Gwynn. I now have a longer list of female names I can go through and choose from.

Character personalities I approach differently. For the main hero/heroine, I do try to learn about them before I sit down to write, but for secondary characters who will have their own books, I let them show me who they are throughout other’s books.

For instance, Arran (MIDNIGHT’S KISS) in the previous Dark Sword books was kinda quiet, but always ready for a fight. It wasn’t until a later book that he gave me a hint that there was a darker side of him. And a part of his past involving his sister that left a hole in him. By the time his book arrived I knew him, but he had given me those hints a little at a time. I love having a character flesh themselves out to me that way. I feel like I learn so much more about them, and readers get to connect with them well before their books.


Charon (Charon pronounced: K-AR-on)
The shrewd one. Forced to betray fellow Warriors by Deirdre. He has a life that’s been waiting for him, and he intends to have it. The fate of the world be damned.

Born: February 1365
Turned: 1390
God: Ranmond, God of war
Warrior Color: Copper
Abilities: Disintegration of objects



Midnight's Kiss
Dark Warriors 5
Donna Grant
St. Martin's Paperbacks
June 4, 2013
Paranormal Romance
Bound by the gods. Champions against evil. The Dark Warriors have taken their battle from ancient Scotland to the modern world—where a woman’s love is the greatest danger of all…

DEEPER THAN DESIRE

Dr. Veronica Reid is a world-renowned archeologist whose Druid abilities help her to unearth ancient magical items. The arrival of the all-too-attractive and charismatic Arran MacCarrick puts her on the defensive when he begins to question how she really finds her artifacts…until an unknown foe attacks and Ronnie discovers that Arran has a secret as great as her own. Together, they unleash an all-consuming passion that won't be denied...

STRONGER THAN FATE

Immortal Warrior Arran is on a mission to find the spell to bind the god within him. But one look at the impossibly beautiful Ronnie and he knows there is more to her than meets the eye. With danger lurking around every corner and an undeniable hunger that grows with every kiss, Arran must reveal who he is to keep Ronnie from his nemesis. Now he is left with no choice but to fight—or fall—for the woman he loves.


Purchase Midnight's Kiss



Midnight's Captive
Dark Warriors 6
Donna Grant
St. Martin's Paperbacks
July 2, 2013
Paranormal Romance

Bound by the gods. Champions against evil. The Dark Warriors have taken their battle from ancient Scotland to the modern world—where a woman’s love is the greatest danger of all…

ENSLAVED BY DESIRE

Laura Black knows her boss is a man of many secrets—haunted by some unknowable force, driven by some unspeakable destiny—and yet it makes her crave the devilishly handsome, roguishly charming Charon all the more. When she uncovers a betrayal that will send her into a world of magic, she turns to the only one she trusts: Charon. Even when she’s in jeopardy of losing her heart…

UNLEASHED IN FURY

Charon Bruce endures a relentless yearning to have Laura for his own, an ache he knows will never be fulfilled. After the town he has protected for centuries is targeted by a ruthless Druid, he has no choice but to reveal his secret to Laura. He must fight the deadliest foe he’s ever known if he’s to keep her safe. But when Laura is captured by his nemesis, he must choose between winning the battle of good versus evil—or losing the woman he loves.


Pre-Order Midnight's Captive



Other books in the series




Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels and novellas spanning multiple genres of romance.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Her childhood dream was to become a professional ballet dancer and study under the amazing Mikhail Baryshnikov. Though she never got to meet Baryshnikov, she did make it to New York City and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later, Donna’s love of the romance genre and the constant stories running through her head prompted her to sit down and write her first book. Once that book was completed, there was no turning back.

Donna sold her first book in November 2005 while displaced from Hurricane Rita, a storm that destroyed portions of the Texas Gulf Coast. Since then, Donna has sold novels and novellas to both electronic and print publishers. Her books include several complete series such as Druids Glen, The Shields, Royal Chronicles, Sisters of Magic, Dark Sword, Dark Warriors, and her new series, Dark Kings.

Despite the deadlines and her voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two young children, four cats, three fish, and one long haired Chihuahua. She’s blessed with a proud, supportive husband who loves to read and travel as much as she does.

Stalk her!


Donna is giving away some cool stuff to one lucky Supie!
A tote bag, water bottle and a signed copy of Midnight's Warrior.
Contest open internationally, ends June 20.

Good luck!

14 comments:

  1. Fascinating, it sounds like you struggle with the perfect name just like parents do when choosing a name for their children. So the character comes first and the name comes second. Names are so funny, I have skipped books just because I didn't like the names of the characters and have been drawn to others because I liked the names..horrible I know!

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  2. What a great post! I have always been so interested in the meaning and origins of names, and was a wreck choosing names for my kids. Name preferences are so subjective, and it must be so hard for authors. Donna did a great job with hers.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for the fun post! I haven't read any of Donna's books but I do have the first few books of her series in my TBR pile. Definitely gotta go catch up :)

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  4. Any book by Donna is a favorite!

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  5. I haven't read any of Donna's books yet but I have several on my TBR list :)

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  6. I Love her Dark Sword series, Dark Warrior series, and her Dark Kings series is on my TBR list.

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  7. I haven't read one of her books yet but look forward to reading one. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  8. I haven't read any of her books but am looking forward to trying a new author. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  9. I haven't read any of her books yet but she's on my tbr list.

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  10. I have some of Donna's books on my shelf, but haven't read them yet. I need to catch up.

    GFC: Mary Preston

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  11. I have read all of the Druids, Dark Sword, Dark Kings, and Dark Warrior novels. Picking a favorite is like picking a favorite child- just cannot happen. I love Donna's writing and these warriors have really been a series i can look forward to book after book. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. I haven't yet but now I have added some new books to my wishlist.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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  13. I have read a couple of books but don't really have a favorite yet :)

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  14. Ive only read a couple. I do have her others on my waiting list. The ones i read were really good. Cant say that i have a favorite yet.

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