I have a confession.
There are many times that I use a random name generator to name characters in my books. 😯
Sometimes I use the name exactly as is. Sometimes it inspires me to come up with a different name.
I try to keep my characters diverse, which means having names from varying ethnicities, as well.
When I was naming characters for The Haunting of Ivy May, I did a little research 🤔 rather than grabbing names from thin air. (I usually think a little harder about names for main characters.)
The name Ivy 🌿 came to me because I wanted to use a plant that was popular in the Victorian era since Ivy (the character) renovates a Victorian cottage. Her last name is May 🌷 because she is in a season of renewal in her life. (Plus, I just love the sound of her name all put together: Ivy May. Looks good in type, too.)
(Psst! Her mother’s name isn’t Rose 🌹 for nothin’.)
Once her name was established, I moved onto her ex-husband. His last name, Preen, is perfect for two reasons. The word “preen” means to congratulate oneself or pride oneself. 😘 Well, Hayden is very good at that!
But Preen is also the brand name of a weed preventer. It “prevent weeds before they even sprout rather than killing them after they’ve already had the chance to grow.” 💀 And if you’ve ever made the mistake of putting down Preen where you’ve seeded flowers or any other plants, you know it doesn’t just work on weeds.
Just as Hayden was stunting Ivy in life, his last name was metaphorically stunting her name. 👎
🎉 Ta da!
Israel Hunter was named so because a) she is Jewish and b) she’s a sort of house hunter.
Cole Baxter doesn’t have a lot of meaning in his name. Baxter is a common surname in West Virginia. His first name is a homophone. Cole sounds like coal, a product for which West Virginia is famous.
If you haven’t read The Haunting of Ivy May, it’s available as a Kindle book or a paperback.