Author: W. J. May
Publisher: Mitchell Morris Publishing, Inc
Pub Date: November 2011
About the Book
How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth about the past?
Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is an exclusive, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her.
She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become inked with a unique tattoo (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatu enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their ink-art. Both of her parents where inked, though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young. Learning about her family's past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope in her own life.
The Power of a Name
I love getting a new book and falling in love with the story. When an author is able to pull me in so deep I can’t stop reading, or thinking about the plot line or what’s going to happen. How about when you want to jump up and down and scream at the characters?
Speaking of characters, when we’re laughing or screaming at them (in our heads or aloud) one thing that matters, even when we don’t realize it, is that these guys need to have good names. Good, proper names which roll off the tongue smooth as butter.
What does it take to have power behind a name?
For myself as a writer, I want something that sounds good together – the first and last name so if someone were really mad, saying the entire name has some kick behind it.
The name has to match the characters personality… hmmm… or is that the personality has to make the character’s name?
There are also a few basic background need-to-knows. If the character is Irish, giving him (or her) a German name isn’t going to be smooth (like butter, it’ll be more like butter mixed with gravel – bumpy and not good on the tongue). Klaus VanLictenstien just doesn’t have an Irish ring like Kian McDowell.
Another writing hint I’ve been taught is to not have characters with similar names and another suggestion I’ve tried to follow is not having characters names that start with the same letter. It sounds a tad silly but really it does help readers avoid any confusion.
I’m going to use my first book in the Chronicles of Kerrigan as an example. There are a lot of characters throughout but some key names needed to stand out.
The main character, Rae Kerrigan, had her name decided before I even started the book. I had the title and name already picked out. I have a friend with a similar name with Irish background. I loved it as it had such a wonderful ring to it – the first and last name. Well, I changed it up a bit to make it Scottish. It rolls off the tongue (say it with me now, smooth as butter ) .
I got lucky with her name and her character was based on her name. She became the muse that created my entire storyline. Her friends, teachers, acquaintances were a bit harder.
Molly, Rae’s best buddy name came next. The name alone seems to represent fun and a little bit of trouble (maybe it’s from watching Molly Ringwald as a kid in all her teen movies).
Devon Wardell came along and I also originally had Dean Cardel. Except the two names sounded too similar so Cardell became Cartel and blurred into Carter (though in my drafts, I still sometimes write Cardel).
Julian, Devon’s buddy, has an artistic side, so to me he needed a name that had the same appeal.
And the character names going on and on… some are named based on the character, others became the characters based on their names.
I’d love to hear other writers (and readers) opinions on what makes a name strong. Where the power is behind a name, and how you create your characters name.
‘Cause in the end, a name is just a name that’s just a name, that’s in a name.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I’m terrible at remembering people’s names.
About The Author:
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario - St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.
The youngest of six -- four older brothers, and sister -- they taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.
At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump. She continued to compete, breaking Canada's JR High Jump record (1.92m - 6' 3 1/2" for those metric-ly challenged). She attented University of Toronto, and Kansas State University - graduating with a BS degree in Kinesiology and beginning her Masters in Business.
She is currently married, and the mother of three adorable kids.
After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again. A passion she'd loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.
Her first book, Rae of Hope - from the Chronicles of Kerrigan - is available Nov 15, 2001 by Mitchell Morris Publishing. It is contracted as a four book series and available in print and ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and other online sites.
She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.
Author website: http://www.wanitamay.yolasite.com/
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