Margaret talks about naming characters.
Names define character. Strong names for strong people. If a heroine or hero had a weak name we wouldn’t be able to believe in them. Characters in romance novels are no ordinary people. Heroes especially are strong, they haven’t been given their name without considerable thought.
When I first started writing I kept a notebook in which I jotted down Christian names from newspapers or magazines. Names do change, though, over the years and ones I used then I wouldn't dream of using now. On my bookshelf is a copy of The Guinness Book of Names by Leslie Dunkling published in 1974 which I used to use frequently. It’s very dated but in it there’s an interesting poem by Charles Lamb, first published in 1809. He put himself in the place of a little girl who had been offered the chance to choose a name for her sister.
Now I wonder what would please her,Charlotte, Julia or Louisa?
Ann and Mary, they’re too common;
Joan’s too formal for a woman:
Jane’s a prettier name beside;
But we had a Jane that died.
They would say, if ‘twas Rebecca,
That she was a little Quaker,
Edith’s pretty but that looks
Better in old English books.
Ellen’s left off long ago:
Blanch is out of fashion now.
None that I have named as yet
Are so good as Margaret.
Emily is neat and fine,
What do you think of Caroline?
How I’m puzzled and perplexed
What to choose or think of next!
I am in a little fever
Lest the name that I shall give her
Should disgrace her or defame her.
I will leave Papa to name her.