This week on #RWchat, we’re talking about heroes and heroines, and today’s guest post comes to us from LaQuette. We asked her to talk about the thoughtful and meaningful names in her Queens of Kings series. Take it away, LaQuette!
Hello, I’m LaQuette, your friendly erotic romance author, embracing my crazy…one character at a time. Speaking of crazy and characters, I’m here to talk to you about my process of name selection for the crazy folks running around in my head.
I was attending a reader/writer event last year when a reader by the name of Shona asked me a thoughtful question about my characters. She’d read my romantic suspense series, The Queens of Kings, and asked, “You named the Amare family members, Hunter, Law, Free, Justice, True, and Heart. How did you come up with such unusual names, and what if any significance did the selection of those names have?” If I didn’t mention that I have smart and perceptive readers, let me tell you now, my readers are the business.
I’ve been both praised and persecuted because of the names I’ve chosen for my characters. There have been readers that look at those names on the surface and see something corny and saccharine. However, most of those readers have never taken naming as seriously as I do.
Naming is a cultural thing. In my family, we wholeheartedly believe that when you call someone by a name, that phrase, that term used ultimately empowers the person that’s named. Essentially, when you call someone by a given name, you are imbuing the powers, rights, merits, and or detriments of that name onto the being. You are what you are called.
This naming tradition isn’t just something that’s prominent in my family. As an African-American woman, it’s something that traces back centuries into African history. If you’ve ever seen Alex Haley’s Roots, there are several instances of this. From generation to generation, the patriarchs perform a naming ceremony in front of the community. The fathers hold the child up to the sky and tell the world, and the heavens, what this child will be called, and what that name means.
My husband and I took this very seriously when naming our two sons. Their names had to have power, presence, and meaning. And although my characters are fictional, they are still my babies, and I select their names with as much care. So when people read the Queens of Kings series, they may think the names as mentioned above are silly. However, if those same readers took the time to analyze each character, they’d see that each one of them embodies the power of their given name. Their family is their source (quite literally in this case. Amare is an African name that means strength), and their given name is their emotional superpower.
I’ve never thought of a name for a character. Instead, I think of the qualities I want that character to possess, and I find a name that encompasses those qualities. My naming process helps me figure out who my characters are at their core. You may see the name True Amare and think it’s unoriginal. However, when you meet True (in the upcoming Queens of Kings Book 5 this fall), you’ll know that being the truth, in all that she is and does, is who this woman is at her core.
So if you’re wondering, “What’s in a name?” The answer is, “Everything.”
What’s your process behind naming your characters? Answer below in the comments, then join us for #RWchat Sunday, June 25th at 7pmET/4pm PT, to discuss heroes and heroines.
LaQuette is an erotic, multicultural romance author of M/F and M/M love stories. Her writing style brings intellect to the drama. She often crafts emotionally epic, fantastical tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. Her novels are filled with a unique mixture of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.
At the age of sixteen she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her. As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.
She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, @LaQuetteWrites, her website, www.NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.