Author Shorts Question 2: Naming characters

author shorts2I’ve started a new segment where I’ve asked a variety of authors to answer a few questions that I pose. Of course, I love a twist. All answers had to be no more than two sentences. Brevity presents a greater challenge.

For me the process was delightful as well as insightful. I love that authors can express our personalities and style in so few words. Just check out the varied responses to the first question!

The second question: How do you name characters?

Author Robert Dunbar


“They tell me their names. (I don’t always listen.)”

Robert Dunbar, author of Martyrs & Monsters






Jo Robinson Photo.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpgW
Author Jo Robinson

“For my mainstream stories the character names generally just appear with the story, but for my science fiction characters so far I’ve used some adapted Latin and the names of listed angels and demons.”

Jo Robinson, author of Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight






Mel_Keegan_morethanhuman_400“Names ‘happen’ spontaneously for me as the character forms in my mind, at the time when I’m working on the notes for a story.”

Mel Keegan, author of the Hellgate series








Author Stuart Conover
Author Stuart Conover

“I will try to put effort into naming main characters and having their name reflect something about them but to be honest for secondary characters I’ll either use a name generator or check the last page of Facebook for one that sticks out. Half the time if I don’t force a name on page I’ll be sitting there looking at it and realize I’ve just wasted half an hour or more on the merit of a name that’ll be written 3-4 times if that!”

Stuart Conover, short story author included in Dead Walk and other anthologies




Daniel W Kelly photo
Author Daniel W. Kelly

“ I seriously search for them on baby name websites.”

Daniel W. Kelly, author of Rise of the Thing Down Below











Adrian W. Lilly is the author of The Runes Trilogy, The Devil You Know, and Red Haze

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Jo Robinson and commented:
    Visiting Adrian’s shorts. 😉

    1. Thanks, Jo! And thank you for your insightful answers.

  2. Juana says:

    I’m loving the accompanying picture for this post.

    I’m also loving the first and last author answers to the question. I laughed at the “I don’t always listen” answer.

    1. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the post –including the teaser image. 🙂 I have to say, I really enjoy the variety of answers and approaches to situations all writers face. It’s interesting to see how many different approaches writers have.

  3. olganm says:

    Very interesting.

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