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Monday Musings – What’s in a Name?

A comment from a new reader on Goodreads gave me the idea for this week’s post. (Hey, Ulysses! ..waving) Having a unique (and wonderful) name himself, Ulysses was curious about my name choice for Adam Hoale of my Hoale Construction Series. Responding to this question forced me to put into words what I’d instinctively believed as I’ve penned my stories. To me at least, names are important. Character names are a huge part of the character’s makeup and identity. When a reader begins reading my book, he or she has no idea who my characters are. It’s my job to introduce them on level deep enough to make them friends. No easy task within the space of a few hundred pages. This is especially difficult in a novella, which is what I write exclusively for one of my publishers. So every detail about a character is important. Every detail gives away a little bit of your character’s personality, his background, and what makes him tick.

I’ve always liked names. I enjoy finding names that roll off the tongue in a fun way, names that reflect genealogy (or species), and names that give clues. I’ve been known to flip words around and use them backwards as names and clues. In general, I wring the most I can from the names I pin to characters and locations in my books. I use names in several ways. First, the name I give my character forms a picture in the reader’s mind. Sometimes that picture is false, because the fun in the name is showing just how different my character is from the name I gave him. For example, in my Honeybun series (written as Sam Cheever) all of the Honeybun brothers have strange names. When you add first names like Heathcliffe or Edric to the last name, Honeybun, you picture some pale-skinned, snooty aristocrat who lives in a castle with servants. But what if your guy is exactly the opposite? What if he’s tall and sexy and strong enough to save a damsel in distress but secure enough to treat his mother like a (bossy) princess? At the very least you have a fun detail that creates challenges which your character can overcome and an interesting backstory to go along. As an illustration, here’s a snippet from one of my Honeybun books:

Angie asked, “Clovis?”

Alastair swung his gaze to her, a smile in his sexy blue eyes, “Third oldest brother, drill instructor, Marines.”

Angie made an oh with her mouth and nodded, then favored him with a mischievous grin. “With a name like Clovis Honeybun, I’ll bet he’s kicked a few Privates over the years huh? Pun intended.”

Alastair just shook his head.  “You have no idea.”

In my case, eight Honeybun brothers might just be suffering from the agony of a mother who only wanted one daughter, but who just kept having sons. #:0) Or it just might be that she liked old English names. The reader can decide which story makes more sense or creates more magic for them.

In my Hoale Construction mystery series, Adam Hoale has to suffer insensitive jokes from people who refer to him as A. Hoale. Adam handles the burden of his strange name with grace and good humor and that’s a point in his favor and a window into the strength of his personality. It’s one small detail that, mixed with all of the other things we learn about Adam in the course of these books, makes the reader understand him a bit better. And hopefully encourages them to see him as someone they want to spend more time with.

So, what’s in a name? Actually, just about everything!

Happy Reading everybody!


Book 1: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Book 1: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Sexy gay construction company owner, Adam Hoale, sometimes gets more than he bargained for when he flips a house!

Adam Hoale owns a construction company called, predictably, Hoale Construction. When he finds an eye opening surprise in the walls of a house he’s flipping, and a libido flaring surprise standing on the lawn, he’s willing to do the right thing with the surprise in the wall while entertaining dirty thoughts about the surprise on the lawn.

But as the world finds out what he discovered, and his new boy toy seems to be keeping too many secrets to make a relationship a reality, Adam soon realizes he may just get flipped himself if he’s not careful.


5 Stars from The Romance Studio: “This is a very good story from beginning to end and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The author has written this one so well I could have sworn I was part of the story as the characters felt like old friends. They are well drawn in a clever, solid plot that is very inviting. The romantic aspect is charming and realistically written with some mysterious elements also. I really loved this book. The author took a simple theme and made it into something grand. A Hoale Lot of Trouble is the first in a new mystery series. I can’t wait to read what’s coming next.”

ARe Recommended Read! “I wholeheartedly recommend this delightful story. This one will leave you smiling.”


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