The heroine of my latest book, SILVER SPARKS, is named Maggie. It's a name that's probably been used a thousand times before, but it suited her character and didn't raise any pre-conceived, stereotyped images. No Maggies who shot a president or swindled people out of millions of dollars. I can only hope a childhood Maggie never pushed a potential reader in a mud puddle and stomped on their science project.
But my heroine didn't start out as Maggie. When I wrote the book, her name was Frieda.
I was just fooling around when I wrote the opening action-packed scene, with a feisty woman standing up for herself and igniting a tabloid scandal. Feeling whimsical, I named the heroine after the cat curled on my lap - Frieda Fuzzypaws. (Don't laugh - that's a literary name! My daughter named her after a cat in a children's book.) And when I gave character-Frieda two sisters, I named them after two other cats, Sophie and Zoe. Like I said, just fooling around, writing a scene. But it was a good scene, and it turned into a book, and Frieda was suddenly the engaging star of a lively tale filled with romance and danger. And my editor feared she had the wrong name. Since readers were not going to see it and be reminded of my feisty, fun-loving cat, she was probably right. So I changed it, and Frieda Fuzzypaws lost her shot at immortality.
So . . . would you have liked Maggie if she'd been Frieda? Are there any names you just couldn't stand for a hero or heroine? (And I really hope it's not Zoe or Sophie, because their books come next!) Leave a comment. This posting is part of a contest - two randomly drawn names from here or my facebook page will receive $25 gift cards for Amazon.com. I will announce the winners Tue. night. Good luck!