Saturday, July 24, 2010

Help Me Name this Hero

I know it's happened to you. It's 4:45pm on Friday and your boss drops by your office and tells you she needs an extensive report by Monday afternoon.

That's sort of what happened to me yesterday. Alicia Condon, my editor at Kensington, dropped me an email asking if I'd submitted a synopsis for the novella I'm doing for the IMPROPER GENTLEMEN anthology (July 2011). This will be the third Mia Marlowe release scheduled for next summer.

Well, no, I hadn't. I'd run a quick idea for a setting by her, but that was it. I fired back the story ideas that had been percolating on the back burner of my brain while I near the end of my current WIP. (I'm not scheduled to start on the novella till the second week in August--yeah, I'm that anal. My writing is planned out week by week till next summer.)

Fortunately, Alicia shot back an email saying she loved my ideas and it was exactly the direction I needed to go for this novella. (Did I mention I love my editor?) All she needs now for the cover blurb meeting on Monday is my hero's name.

Which I don't know.

I know he's Irish. The year is 1827. When the story opens, he's a convict on Bermuda, part of the pressed labor gang building the massive Commissioner's House compound on the southwest point of the island. He's no innocent, but he's not guilty of the particular thing he was convicted for. He's whip-smart, a wicked scrapper with fisticuffs, and sexy as the devil. He looks very like Matt Bomer, the actor from White Collar.

But I need a name for him.

I did a search and came up with the 10 most popular male Irish names in the 19th century:

Top ten Irish first names for boys in 1864

1. John
2. Patrick/Pat
3. James
4. Thomas
5. Michael
6. William
7. Martin
8. Peter
9. Timothy
10. Denis/Dennis

Also like Aidan, Brendan, and Ryan.

I have to come up with a surname, but that'll be easier once I know the first part.

So, what do you think? Which name do you prefer? Do you have another suggestion? If I end up using a totally new full name suggested here, I'll definitely give the person responsible credit on the acknowledgements page. So please put on your thinking caps, but time is of the essence. I need to send it to my editor first thing Monday.

Thanks so much!

Oh, say! Did you notice the cool little gizmo at the end of the post? It allows you to share this post with your friends via email, facebook, blogger, a whole slew of social media outlets. Please take a minute and point someone else this way too. Thanks! I need all the help I can get!

44 comments:

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

First thing that popped into my head was Connor Brady. From the popular names list, Patrick strikes first for the image given, and Aiden is lovely as well.

KK said...

I like the first name Quinton, or the last name Quinn for him.

Keira of LoveRomancePassion said...

Patrick or Peter

Tai said...

William Couge

Michelle St. Clair Creative Designer said...

Eoghan (m): pronounced (OH in) Other forms of the name are Owen; Eógan and it means: born of the yew

Deb said...

I like Aidan/Aiden or Brendan/Brenden. Very few heroes are named Michael. I like KK's suggestion of Quinn or Quinton for a surname. A friend of mine has the last name McGowan and I also like Gallagher. Good luck, Emily!

Gillian Layne said...

Hope this helps: I love Ciaran, and here's a link to a Saint by his name:

http://www.irelandseye.com/irish/people/saints/ciaran.shtm

I figure the history behind it will either help or definitely rule it out. Good Luck! :)

Sally Kilpatrick said...

How about Finn O'Neill? I was looking for something appropriate for the time yet different.

Good luck!

Kimberly Meyer said...

I love Irish names! My suggestions are Seamus, Donovan or Carrick.

Nynke said...

I was thinking Joseph, but I like Michelle's suggestion, Owen, as well. And I love Deb's last name suggestion, Gallagher!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I can't get past the picture. Dang Matt Bomer for being so gorgeous.

I do vote for Denis..though the name Neil or Neal won't leave my head :)

EmilyBryan said...

Anna--I hadn't run into that spelling for Aiden. I'd always seen it Aidan. Wonder which is older . . .

EmilyBryan said...

KK--I love the name Quinn. I love it so much I used it for my hero in TOUCH OF A THIEF, which will be coming out next May.

EmilyBryan said...

Keira--It's hard to go wrong with either of those. Thanks for your thoughts.

EmilyBryan said...

Tai--I like William. My heroine can call him Will. I've never run across the surname Couge. Is it an Irish name?

EmilyBryan said...

Michelle--My oldest daughter suggested Eoghan, but I wasn't sure how to pronounce it at first. So I imagine it might stop readers too. Would it be cheating to use the English spelling and name him Owen?

EmilyBryan said...

Deb-I used Michael for My Lady Below Stairs in A CHRISTMAS BALL. My hero's name was Ian Michael and his middle name was used a lot.

I really ought to put together a past heroes list so I don't accidentally repeat myself!

EmilyBryan said...

Gillian--I actually like using saint names (witness: Crispin Hawke in STROKE OF GENIUS) but while I like the way Ciaran looks, isn't it pronounced like Sharon. Or is it "See Aaron"? Or maybe "Key-ah-rin"?

Or am I the only one who doesn't know how to say it?

EmilyBryan said...

Sally--Thanks for your suggestion.

I used Finn for my heroine's brother in my current WIP. ;-( But that proves I like the name!

EmilyBryan said...

Kimberly--I like Carrick. The percussive "K" on both ends gives it a nice masculine feel.

EmilyBryan said...

Nynke--Joseph is always a good name. And Gallagher sounds like a bounder, doesn't he? Wonder if that's ever used as a surname . . .

EmilyBryan said...

Mistress--Matt Bomer is highly inspirational, isn't he? I've seen Niall as the Irish spelling for Neal, which I like very much.

Nynke said...

Gallagher is usually a surname, right? I'm not sure it was ever used as a given name in Ireland around 1800 - that might have been a bit out there or Wuthering-Heights-posh, I think (But I don't pretend to know anything about Irish culture back then, except they were Catholics and naming your son for a saint never hurt).
I think Ciaran is pronounced 'KEE-ren', but I'm sure most readers will have a hard time reading it, and the same goes for Eoghan. Pity, they're such pretty, exotic names!

JennJ said...

I really like Aiden personally. :)

Aidan [Aodhan] (m) 'little fire'.
St Aidan (died 651), a monk at lona who became bishop of Lindisfarne, is perhaps the most famous bearer of this name. It was quite common in Ireland in the eighth and ninth centuries and it is still used today. Mogue is a variant. It has even been employed as a feminine name, but Edana is the more usual feminine form.

EmilyBryan said...

Agreed, Nynke. There's a fine line between exotic and confusing. I don't want to make my hero's name a reason not to read the story. My mom, who's an avid romance reader, was upset enough about Crispin because it was so unusual. I hate to think what she'd do with Eoghan!

JennJ said...

http://www.namenerds.com/irish/lists.html

Great site for irish names :)

EmilyBryan said...

JennJ--Thanks for the background on Aidan. Lindesfarne rings bells for me since that's the site of the first Viking raid.

I'll check out that Irish name site. Thanks!

EmilyBryan said...

Excellent name site, JennJ. I saved it to my favorites list. Here's the link if anyone else wants to check it out:NameNerds

Lana said...

For the Irish names, I've always loved Declan (which may have something to do with Richard Gere in the Jackal despite the silly accent)!

I also really like Liam and Connor.

Marcy W said...

Tiernan ("lord of the manor") or Tynan ("dark") for Christian name; and for the surname, Rafferty, which I think goes well with either of the firsts.
Good luck, Emily ... usually one has months to think about naming one's "baby", so to do it in a weekend is a lot!

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Lana, I like Liam a lot.

EmilyBryan said...

Marcy--Thanks for including the meanings for Tiernan and Tynan. It helps me in rounding out the character.

Alfke de Haas said...

Last names: Creagh, Gahan, Danaher, Keenan (Ó Cianáin), Macan or Tierney.
I'd go for first name Aidan or Michael myself. :) Goog luck!

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Alfke,
Thanks so much for the surname suggestions. There weren't ones I'd thought of before, but I especially like Danaher.

Are you related to Nynke, by chance?

Zoe Archer said...

Teague. It's a little less common than some other Irish names. A King's name.

Glynis said...

I came across the surname McCracken once and thought it rolled off the tongue so well. I put it to one side but have never used it.

Will McCracken?

EmilyBryan said...

Zoe--Teague is an authentic sounding name and one spelled phonetically enough it shouldn't stop readers. Thanks.

EmilyBryan said...

Glynis--I knew some McCrackens when I was growing up. Good name.

Nynke said...

Heh, I knew I could count on Alfke to come up with a wide range of names :). And yes, she's my sister!

Emily, good luck with picking one name from all the ones that have come up! It seems a weekend is not a bad time for quests like these... :)

Tracy Hopkins said...

Sean or Seamus?

EmilyBryan said...

Nynke--Thanks for sharing this post with your sister. I appreciate it so much when people spread the word.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks for your suggestion, Tracy!

SarannaDeWylde said...

I think he looks like a Fionn. That's a great hero name. :)

EmilyBryan said...

Saranna--Thanks for your suggestion. I like Fionn too, but it means "fair" or "white" and since my hero is Black Irish, it might not fit.