Friday, April 24, 2009

Writers: Ever Googled Your Characters' Names?

I did recently—not that I expected to find a few of them now have their own websites and blogs; nor was I looking to IM them (“Please check all the bars for my Muse, then both of you report to my current WIP immediately.”) I was planning to blog a particular subject that required me to use an alias instead of someone’s real name. And since I’ve written many books with many characters, I thought why not engage in some desperately cheap and shameless self-promotion by using one of my heroines’ names?

But considering the somewhat delicate nature of the proposed blog topic—it could potentially cause embarrassment to a person who really does have that name—I thought I’d better Google the first and last names of some of my heroines to see who could be affected.

As it turns out, with the exception of female characters born into a fictional European royal family that starred in earlier novels now crammed under my bed—where I believe they will remain until they turn to compost (the novels, not the princesses)—all my girls are out there.

I was especially shocked to find both Natalie and Athena have posted racy pictures of themselves online. Well, maybe not Natalie so much—when I was working with her, she was always being haunted and bitten on the butt by past embarrassments and indiscretions, and I don’t doubt she continues to be dogged to this day; but I always thought Athena was too goody-goody gracious to stumble into such antics. Sheesh, you think you know somebody . . . Until now I would’ve trusted that woman with my kid, my house key, maybe even my PIN number . . . but alas, my opinion of her has just been flushed down the toilet. And to add insult to injury, it’s now backed up, because unlike Athena’s high and mighty royal throne, mine is just a low-flow.

I finally Googled the name of her husband’s grandmother, who was born Lausanne Davin. That particular first/last name combo didn’t pop up anywhere. And yes, she was born in and named after the Swiss city on Lake Geneva. I’ve heard “Geneva” used as a girl’s name, and I always thought “Lausanne” would be just as pretty a name, so that’s how she got her name. And while she will always be one of my favorite heroines of my own creation, the books in which she appeared absolutely sucked and will never see the light of day again. She was one of my lab mice who endured many explosions of smoke in different colors while I learned how to write something resembling a novel. In those novels and in her file I might have a ton of dirt on her, while on the World Wide Web, she’s so clean she squeaks—and being a lab mouse has nothing to do with it.

But that’s about to change once I use her in my next blog entry.

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