Naming The Characters In The Swept Away Saga
Carried Away releases on Sunday!
In honor of our *less-than-a-week-until-release-day* excitement, here's some fun facts about how I named a few of the main characters in The Swept Away Saga!
This picture will make sense in a minute, promise!
**Not all character pictures are actually what I imagine when writing. With this story, I preffered to just go with what was in my mind, instead of matching the character to a model/actor I liked. However, these photos do share some of the characteristics I imagine :)**
I wanted Sam to have a first name that could easily be for a boy or girl, so that she could go undercover without having to remember a new name. Samantha worked wondrously for that, in my opinion. At the time of her naming, I was currently binge watching every season of Friends on Netflix and decided I really liked Greene as last name.
I started off basically knowing that my leading man was Irish, thanks to good old Captain Hook on Once Upon A Time (incidentally, that is also why Tristan has dark hair). Armed with my Irish heritage book, I spent a few days going over common last names and bookmarking the ones I wanted. In the end, I had in narrowed down to O'Brian and O'Rourke, mostly because of the histories associated with those families.
In the end, I decided I wanted The Swept Away Saga to stay away from the politics of the time for the most part (Outlander is a highly political series in my mind and, while I love those books, and they are the reason I wanted to write a time travel in the first place, I didn't want my story to sound too much like Diana Gabaldon's work. This is also why I picked a different time period than the second, more well known era of piracy). The O'Rourke family really were clan royalty and did lose everything in the war against the English, and so my hero had a last name and was free to do whatever he wanted.
The first name was a bit more tricky. I remember doing a search for Irish boy names and not really liking anything I cam across. I believe, in the end, I was down to Aiden or Tristan. I have a friend that wants to name a baby Aiden, so I picked Tristan (also because I really like Tristan and Isolde, haha!). I'm very happy I did!
Thomas Randall At first, I knew I had a pirate who wasn't very nice. I didn't realize how big of a role he played until later. At that point, it became clear I needed to give him a good name LOL While on a road trip, I was talking about it and one of my friends said I should name him Voldemort, as a joke. However, Harry Potter is also one of my favorite series and I decided to roll with it. Having decided to name the villain after Tom Riddle, I kept with the bad guy theme and named him after another character in a favorite series-- Black Jack Randall from Outlander. And so, Thomas Randall was born, and he's trying very hard to live up to the evilness of his name.
*Mark Bell* Mark is named after the fabulous Belinda Boring and her husband. I didn't realize how big of a character he was when I was writing Swept Away and thought I was just giving them a nod for being so awesome, haha!
*Abella Travere* Abella is a character new in Carried Away :) She's a beautiful, young woman who works as Sam's maid. Without going too much into her history, I simply wanted a name that felt and sounded beautiful, while being French in origin. To be completely honest, I literally just searched for surnames and picked Travere, because I never mentioned her last name in Carried Away I don't think LOL Travere works well, though! It means someone who lives by a river or bridge, which Abella indeed did.
*Runs With Wolves* A new character in Carried Away, Runs With Wolves is an Apache man, whom I can tell you absolutely nothing else about because of spoilers, haha. His name is somewhat special, though. I don't know what it would be in Apache (my trip to the Apache town nearby didn't ever happen because I keep planning numerous things to do for some reason), but there is a reason I picked this specifically.
I have always loved the english translations of Native American names. I feel that they are very beautiful and more telling of the person's character and what they enjoy than most other names. When I was younger and would play with friends, I always thought if I were to pick my own name, it would be Runs With Wolves. Why? I have no idea. I don't particularly love running, nor would I do so in the company of wolves LOL But that was always what I thought of, and when the time came to create this character, I felt that he truly deserved the name and would hold it better than I ever would have. Fun fact, my family just discovered that we have quite a bit of Native American in us, through a DNA test. We have no idea which tribe, though, haha!
How would you have picked out a person's name? Let me know in the comments!
*Carried Away releases on February 7th--six days from today!*