OS: Welcome to Louisa Masters here to talk about their new book!
What’s in a Name?
If you have children, you know choosing names is not easy. It’s the same for authors when naming characters, only—dare I say it—harder. We need to name all the characters in each book, and give them surnames too.
Personally, I agonize over this with every book I write. We tend to be biased against and in favour of names if we know people who have them. Names that I once considered lovely have been forever ruined for me because I met horrible people who answer to them.
My criteria for choosing names? First, I have to like it. Even the villain’s name has to be one that I don’t cringe at. Next, it has to be appropriate. While I love the idea of names that are original and not overused, I think calling your contemporary hero Cobra (birth name, not nickname) is asking for trouble. Unless, of course, you have a great backstory to explain it. I’ll leave it to you to come up with one for Cobra!
So, we’ve got likeability, appropriateness, and thirdly, we do need some originality. If you have a habit of calling your male characters by names beginning with the letter J—John, Jack, Jake, Jason, James, Jackson… I could go on—then eventually readers are going to lose track of who’s who.
I try not to pick names that everyone else has already used a million times. When a reader starts gushing about my character, I don’t want other readers to say, “Was that the book by Author A, B, or C? I get them mixed up because the main character has the same name in all three.” (Oops, I think that rhymed!)
Lastly, how old is my character? Was the name I’ve chosen popular the year of their birth? Or was it on the least-popular list? How does this affect my character? Were there six other kids in their class at school with the same name? Or were they teased constantly in the playground?
My biggest problem? Surnames. For some obscure reason, I tend to gravitate to the letter H. Hammond, Hampton, Hardy, Hall… I now have a rule about H names: I can’t use them. It’s not easy.
My latest book, The Bunny and The Billionaire, which releases today, made character names really interesting. Ben Adams was easy enough—I just needed a typically Aussie name, and since I’m surrounded by typical Aussies, that wasn’t a problem. But my other main character kept me online researching names for ages. Léonard Khalid Artois. Léo is half French, half Saudi Arabian. Both sides of the family are wealthy and socially exalted, but ultra conservative, so I needed to choose a more traditional name, too. Then there were Léo’s cousins, who are Saudi on both sides, and his friend, who is wholly French.
In the end, I think I did okay… we’ll see, right?
Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.
Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.
As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.
Louisa is giving away five swag packs to mark the release of The Bunny and The Billionaire. Enter to win! https://tinyurl.com/yag5gasq
Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was sneaking romance novels in and working out how to read them without being discovered. She’s spent most of her life feeling sorry for people who don’t read, convinced that books are the solution to every problem. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She spent years trying to build a “sensible” career, working in bookstores, recruitment, resource management, administration, and as a travel agent, before finally conceding defeat and devoting herself to the world of romance novels.
Louisa has a long list of places first discovered in books that she wants to visit, and every so often she overcomes her loathing of jet lag and takes a trip that charges her imagination. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she’ll probably never move.
Find Louisa on Facebook and Twitter: