Rafe is the hero in Debra's The Vampire and the Vixen.
Kelsey and Rafe first meet at a library fundraiser on Halloween. It goes like this:
Rafe. A sexy name for a sexy man.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Kelsey.”
Oh my. A sexy man with a voice as smooth and rich as chocolate covered caramel.
The line about his name makes me chuckle. When I first started writing I had the concept for this book in my head. I had a heroine's name, and I had a good idea of who/what I wanted my hero to be. But he didn't have a name. When the muse took over and demanded I write this story, I had to come up with something. So I appropriated Rafe's name from another story. (Originally I was going to say 'borrowed', but that implies giving it back, and there was no intention of that. Then I tried out 'stole', but since it was 'my' name in the first place, it wasn't really theft. So 'appropriated' it is...)
Anyway...Rafe Alexander became a combination of two names from this other story. The hero in that particular story was named Rock Alexander. He was an actor, and the name of one of his roles was Rafe. I combined the two. And while it definitely worked for the hero in The Vampire and the Vixen, I am now left with somewhat of a dilemma. The hero in the other work in progress is now short a surname. I still like the name Rock, so that will stay, but I really did kind of like the three syllable last name that went with it. If I ever get back to this particular story, I'm going to have to come up with something good. (Or maybe I can use Alexander again and make him a distant cousin of Rafe. Ha!) I'm not worried about changing the name of the character he plays...that's somewhat of a throwaway.
This isn't the first time I've appropriated things from other stories. In fact, recently I grabbed an entire scene (from the aforementioned movie star book) to use in other book. That poor story. By the time I get back to it, it's going to have more holes than Swiss cheese. In my defense, it wasn't really a scene written for that particular book. The idea for it came to me one day, and since I happened to be working on the movie star book at the time I slid it in there. It actually works much better in its new story.
The love scene in Valentine's Day at The Corral is actually a scene my editor and I cut from Family Secrets. This one took quite a bit of tweaking to make sure the characters stayed 'true' to themselves, but all in all, it worked really well. (It was a good scene to start with, we just decided to shorten the other story. I hated to see it go to waste!)
Do you ever appropriate (borrow, steal) things (character names, scenes, plot ideas) from one story to use in another?
Until next time,