Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spooktacular Plans & Character Naming

So I submitted my Saturday night outing idea to the Activity Director (in triplicate, as required - ha, ha!) and I'm pleased to say it's been approved! So this Saturday night, my friends and I are going to attend HalloScream Park at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. It's like four or five Haunted Houses and a huge pumpkin carving exhibit. Then, after getting our scare on, we're going to go dancing at some club. Of course, my original proposal was amended by the Friend Committee so we won't be wearing costumes, but hey - better than nothing, right? (I can always dress up at RT if I feel the urge to costume myself!)

Anyway - I'm pleased. Hopefully it'll be fun or I'll probably be barred from suggested activities in the future... :)

BTW - if anyone is looking for some revenge, make sure you enter Lisa Gardner's Lucky Stiff contest. If you win, you get to name a murder victim in her next book. (Unfortunately you can't send in a complete description of the victim to make it more realistic...) This is kind of unique twist on what I've seen a lot of authors doing lately--auctioning off or holding contests to let readers name their characters.

I've never done this, but I think it's a fun idea and I can see the appeal. My friend Liz Maverick borrowed my name for one of the heroines in her upcoming December chick lit book Card Sharks. (About girls who play poker-check it out!!!) I thought that was pretty cool, actually. To return the favor, the evil vampire in my STAKE THAT! book has been given the name Maverick. (Yes, yes, I get to be the heroine and make her the evil vampire. If you know Liz, you know she'd appreciate that, really.)

Alesia Holliday always puts her kids in her books. Lani Diane Rich used her friend Wanda's name and attributes in TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR. In Lindsay Sands vampire books SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE and LOVE BITES she has book editor characters named Kate Leaver and Chris Keys (obvious plays on Kate Seaver and Lindsay's own editor Chris Keeslar.) She also adds a cameo appearance of Lady Barrow herself at the RT conference.

I'm sure there are many more examples out there. Some more subtle than others. But it's fun if you're in on the joke. And if not, it doesn't detract from the book.

So you writers out there - do you put friends and family in your books? Have you auctioned off a character's name? And you readers - would you think it'd be fun to have a character be named after you? Would you like winning a contest where you got to do that?



Amie Stuart said...

I think it's a great idea and yes, I killed a friend. I know one writer who did the family thing the year her kids got married ;-)

I've put one friend in one WIP and another I did use her name and some character traits (because she's just da bomb and it really does fit her character).

Diana Peterfreund said...

I have named minor minor characters after real people in the past, but in general I give characters names that SOUND like the names of the people I'm naming them after. However, I've never done that so blatantly as I did with Secret Society Girl. Ironically, one character I didn't name after anyone, the son of a governor, had to go through a name change because there's a real governor with that name.