Last month, I re-released a favourite mystery/romance of mine called FREEMAN. It's a bit of a mysterious title in itself, isn't it? Why didn't I call it "Tense Suspense in London's Seedy Clubland" or "Romance Blossoms Between Two Very Different Men While Foiling Dastardly Plots"? Many fabulous titles are published in the Romantic Suspense/Mystery genre, which grab a potential reader's attention with an immediate snapshot of the book's content, in just a few words.
Well, Freeman is the name of my main character. And he's mysterious in his own way, throughout the book. One name, one purpose, one narration. But - Confession time! - that's not the only reason I chose the title.
The easy answer is that it was a working title that stuck. Authors, have you ever found that to be the case? A title isn’t immediately obvious when you start writing, so you decide to file the work in progress as "book XXX", "FinishByXmasOrElse", "The Mystery One", or just "That B****y Book". Then, as time goes by and the novel takes shape, the working title can’t be shaken off.
And for the character himself? The same thing happened with him. I can’t even remember where I got his name from, but one day it was there, and it stayed. Determinedly. Relentlessly. Doggedly. Dear me, that’s just like Freeman himself!
And why only one name? No one ever mentions Freeman’s first name in the book, not even the man himself. Maybe it’s like Inspector Morse, who doesn’t reveal his first name until the end of the series. Or like many a star in the public eye who’s known only as a single name. Is that behaviour kitsch? Coy? Paranoid? There are probably a variety of reasons for it, and to be honest, I can’t presume to know Freeman’s motivation.
He just is.
And sometimes I have to seek for a while to find the right names. As an author, I’ll often look for inspiration in a poem or a popular saying. Or search lists of baby names of all ethnicities and sources, looking for the right sound and meaning. For example, Maen in my fantasy novel Branded came from the Welsh word for “rock”, because that’s what he is to Dax and the other soldiers under his command. Niall in my suspense thriller 72 hours means “champion”: Red in my romance Flying Colors is a nickname for Richard, meaning “powerful leader”. I like to play with the names, you can see!
What do you think about names? Do you like seeing unusual ones? Readers, do they turn you on or off in a book?
Thanks for visiting today!
FREEMAN BLURB:Freeman’s return to the city is quiet, without fuss. Another client: another case. He’ll source what they need and be on his way. But he’s been missed by more people than he thought: his ex-wife, his ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. And at least one of them wants him the hell gone again.
Freeman — private, controlled – just does his job. But when he strikes up an unusual friendship with the young runaway Kit, trouble comes looking for both men, ready to expose secrets that can destroy their fragile trust. Yet, for Kit, Freeman’s more than ready for the challenge.
BUY Freeman today at Amazon | in other formats plus excerpt.
Find me on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon