Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Too Many Ks!

Paula seems to like names beginning with K!

In my first book, His Leading Lady, the hero was Kyle. His cousin was Ken, his grandmother was Katrina, known to everyone as Kat, and the heroine played the part of Lady Kate in the musical show. That seems to have been the beginning of my (over)use of K names.

In Dream of Paris,the hero’s sister was called Kate – and so was the heroine’s best friend in Changing the Future – and the hero’s cousin in Irish Intrigue – and a minor character in Irish Inheritance. What makes you think I like the name Kate?

When I wrote Irish Inheritance, the first of my Irish stories, I didn’t plan to write a series, but that’s what has happened.

Now I’m writing the third in the series, the K name has come back to bite me! Although each story can stand alone, I’m using some characters from the previous two novels as secondary characters in this one. Maybe it’s not helped that I decided my heroine’s name would be Kara, who was mentioned at the end of Irish Intrigue. There’s also Karl, who was mentioned briefly in the first book, and played a small part in the second as the ‘history buff’ of the Living History group. Eek, Kara and Karl – far too similar, so Karl has been relegated to only a brief mention in my 3rd book. I was also going to bring back two characters from Irish Inheritance – two minor characters, but their names were Kate and Kelvin. Oh no, not more Ks! Fortunately, I can get around that by not having the two K characters after all. I also abandoned Kathleen as the name of one of the Irish babies sent for adoption in America in the 1950s when I realised it was another K.

We’re warned against using similar names in our books, so Milly and Molly are a no-no, as are Helen and Ellen, and of course, just like Kara and Karl, similar names like Paula and Paul, or Mandy and Sandy, should be avoided. Name association can prove to be a problem, too. In one of my books, the name of the hero’s ex-girlfriend created the combination of Jack and Jill, so I had to change the girlfriend’s name. In my current WIP, the hero’s ex was originally called Cathy, which, although not a K word, still has the hard C that sounds like K (she’s now become Rebecca, by the way!) The same can apply to surnames - we don't really want Paige Brown to marry Jack Turner, and become a Paige Turner, or Holly Smith to marry Alan Wood!

I think this maybe shows we need to name our characters carefully, not just the main characters, but also the secondary ones, just in case we want to include them in a future story.


  1. It's very difficult to keep all options open when writing. I think we're so focused on the current story, we sometimes forget to leave possibilities for future ones.

    1. That's very true, and even more when you don't realise one book is going to lead to two more!

  2. Ha! I love the Paige Turner and Holly Wood combos. Too funny.

    Names can definitely be tricky. In my WIP, the hero is Tyler. I have a character from The Corral, Tina, that could use her own story. But no way am I going to have Tyler and Tina be the hero and heroine.

    And, Paula, as you know from last's J names for me!

    1. Could Tina have a middle name (beginning with J, of course!) which she prefers? Hee hee, just a suggestion!

  3. It's strange how you brain seems to settle on one letter. I had the same problem with S. I didn't see it until you pointed it out!!