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Welcome back! Today I'm going to delve into the names I used in the Love Always Series, why I picked them, what they remind me of, and if they are based on someone I know. I did this with Breaking Through already, so make sure to check out that post. Ready?
Here we go!
Kate Browdy: Oh, Kate. This character has been with me the longest as I started writing her when I myself was only 12. The book when I was 12 was called "Kate's Diary." I don't remember how I came up with the name; it just flowed out of my head one day. Her full first name, Kathryn, was her grandmother's name.
Damian Lowell: For Damian, I needed a name that would encompass him. Damian comes from a Greek word and means "To overcome." To me, this meant he needed something to overcome, and boy he ends up with a lot. He succumbed to grief and guilt, and that weight he couldn't shake off. But if you read to the end of the series, he eventually lives up to his name.
Jackson Lowell: I have no awesome backstory on this one. I liked the name and it sounded like a good doctor name.
Nurse Leslie: This is one of the most compassionate ladies in the world. She has to be to do the job she does. I wanted her name to be soft and gentle and this is what came to mind.
Nurse Tammy: I have a cousin whose name is Tammy. She's older than me and used to babysit me when I was little. She's not a nurse, but when the character showed up in my head, she looked a lot like my cousin. And so I simply adopted the name.
Brennan: Some of you may know this, but my youngest son's name is Brennan. No, he doesn't have cancer. But like my son, the Brennan in the book is shy, adorable, and enjoys video games.
Jason & Marcy Browdy: Again, nothing special here. Just good parent names.
Ellie Van Zee: Or Elizabeth, as is on her birth certificate. Elizabeth is one of the those super common names that seems to span generations. It's always in style. I wanted a cute, shorter version, and Ellie seemed to work perfectly.
Liam Lowell: Nora Lowell is Irish, with strong Celtic roots. So to me, it would make sense that she named her firstborn son Liam, a name with strong Celtic roots. Plus, it's a great name!
Blake: Man, I feel so bad for Blake. The guy did everything right, didn't he? Blake's name is another one of those that just popped into my head and worked right away.
Lia: This one is easy if you read the book. Her name has tons of meaning to it, and because of that, I'll just say if you want to know, you'll need to read the book!
Dylan Akoi: Dylan is very loosely based on my brother. He's definitely my little brother in the looks department. Like my brother and myself, Dylan has a Japanese heritage, hence his last name. His first name is Dylan because it's a great name! (ALERT: Keep a look out for more of Dylan...)
Olivia: This name I simply looked up the most popular names in the last five years, and this one hit the list every time. That and it's adorable!
Cassie: This one I didn't take much time with, mostly because I'm a million percent sure it's not her real name. ;)
And there you have it! The characters of Love Always! I hope you enjoyed this post, and the last What's in a Name will be on The Spirit Trilogy.
Oh the two words authors crave and readers both love and hate. Love because that means the book will be in their hands soon, and hate because when they read those final words, the book is over. It's especially true with a series. And that's where I am today.
I have written those loved, dreaded, and craved words on The Soul (Spirit Trilogy #3).
This story, the whole trilogy, has been inside my head for over six years. It's crazy to me that I've written almost 250,000 words to complete this series. It's exciting. It's relieving. And yes, it's sad. I've been waiting so long to get this whole story out, and now that the time has come, it's bittersweet. The Spirit, Lucas and Carrie's journey, was my first book I sought publication for, and I was thrilled with how well it was received. You, the reader, loved it, and I was blown away by your comments and reviews.
The Body, book #2, took a different turn than I originally planned, but again, you all loved it! And for many of you, you loved it more than the first. Again, I was blown away by this. Readers coming back for book #2? It was surreal.
Then I wrote some other things, I blinked, and BOOM! It had been over a year since the release of The Body. In all that time, The Soul never left my thoughts. It grew and matured until I finally felt comfortable enough to finish it. And you know what? You, the reader, never forgot about it. You've posted on Goodreads, messaged me on social media, emailed me, and started Amazon discussions asking when this final book would be out. Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how humbling that is. To know you care so much about this story to take time out of your day to contact me about it. I am truly honored.
I am now working through edits, and I hope to have the story turned in as soon as I can. Make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter to get the most up-to-date information, teasers, excerpts, and news (click on the newsletter button in the footer).
I am so blessed to have you all for readers, and I hope you all know how much I appreciate you.
One thing I've been asked recently was how I come up with names for my characters. And since I've had a difficult time lately thinking of cool blog posts, this was perfect timing! So every couple of weeks, I'll go through my books and tell you about the character's names. Some are super cool and symbolic, others are more like, "Uh...thought the name sounded cool."
This firs edition is for the characters of Breaking Through! Here we go!
Nautia Olson: Nautia comes from the Latin word naut, which means sailor. It's where we get the word "nautical." I totally just made this name up, but I knew I wanted her first name to represent water. Olson just sounded good as a last name to go with it.
Kray Shields: I had Kray's name before any other character in this book. In fact, I had his name and what he looked like before I even had the title for this book. His character was just that clear in my mind. Kray isn't short for anything. His last name is a bit of an oxymoron, considering his ability to hear people's thoughts. There is no shield to keep him out! But on the flipside, he can't keep the thoughts of others shielded from his own head either.
Riley Barton: I struggled so hard with this name, almost to the point where I considered changing it several times. I've always liked the name Riley, but I've always liked it for a girl. (Sorry, Riley!) So I kinda fought with this name. But the more this character formed himself in my mind, the more the name stuck. Barton came from me playing with different last names that sounded good with Captain in front of it, but it also had to sound good with Riley.
Haskal Smith: Oh, Haskal! I have no idea where this name came from! I knew the who he was and role he needed to play in this book, so I wanted a name that would sound a bit douche-baggy. And Haskal came to mind. His last name is simple--Smith. It's an English shortened word for blacksmith, or someone who works with metal. Perfect for Haskal!
Nate Olson: This one was easy as soon as I had Nautia's name. Similar, but masculine.
Gibson: Notice something about Gibson? Yeah, he has no last name. It wasn't intentional; I just never needed it. He's the big brother character, and I wanted a first name that I felt would be that. And this is what I came up with.
Britta Lighter: She's the baby of the bunch, only fourteen. When I thought about her power as a translator, my first thought was of Encyclopedia Britannica. Pre-internet phase of life, I owned a whole set and would use them for any piece of information I needed. It's not a perfect parallel, but Britta's name came from "Britannica." Her last name is less creative; I looked through a phonebook until I found something I liked.
Cara Prior: Cara's first name just popped into my head when I started writing. She didn't have a name until I typed it in the first chapter. As for her last name, I wanted it to be close to the word "Pyro", but not that obvious. And so her surname became Prior.
USS Triton: I wanted to name the ship with something water related, but not the actual name of a real Navy ship. I was kinda surprised that Triton had never been used.
And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I'll do Love Always in the next post!
Back in December, a literary agent contacted me regarding representation for the Love Always Series and Breaking Through. This would be for subsidiary rights: foreign language and audio, specifically.
So, after much deliberation, I am super pleased to announce that Sarah Hershman of Hershman Rights Management is now representing me!
What does this mean? For the Love Always Series, it means that Sarah will be submitting these books to foreign publishers in hopes of them purchasing the rights to publish this series in their language. This would be for digital, print, and possibly audio. This will not affect anything in print, digital, or audio in English. Wouldn't it be cool to see Love Always, Kate in German? Spanish? Italian? Eeep!
For Breaking Through, it means the same as the Love Always Series in regard to foreign rights, but it also includes English audio. In the audio publishing world, romance and science fiction are the big sellers, so Ms. Hershman has high hopes for this book, as it crosses genres.
I am so excited about this opportunity, and I can't wait to see what's around the corner!
I'd like to start off by saying, "I love my readers!" I'm sorry this final installment of The Spirit Trilogy has taken me so long. But you have been so patient, and now that the time is getting closer, you are excited! I'm excited too, and I have told my publisher that I'll have The Soul to them no later than March 31, 2016.
So what does this mean? Well, it means that I can get on the editing schedule NOW instead of waiting until I get the book turned in. It is my hope, and my publisher's hope, that this will help expedite the publishing process and The Soul can be in the hands of you, the reader, sooner.
And now I'm excited to show you the very first teaser for The Soul. I hope you like it!
This may be the most personal blog post I've made to date. I want to tell you a story, one I hope will inspire you to whatever aspirations await you. Please do not glean the same conclusions I have, because your experience will be different, but it will be beautiful all the same.
Like most little people, I had enough dreams to last several lifetimes. I wanted to be a dancer, a writer, a doctor, a mother, a wife, a meteorologist, a singer. As I got older, some of these dreams grew weaker while others grew stronger, and no matter what emotions I had, I could always dance. Dance. Dance. When I was happy, I'd dance. when I was sad, I'd dance. When I was frustrated, I'd dance. I could express myself that way.
I'd also sing. Pour my heart out in my bedroom, all by myself. I'd feel better.
And I'd read. And I'd write. Strings of words were constantly flowing through my head. Sometimes there was a bigger story behind them, sometimes not. Sometimes I'd write them in a journal, sometimes I wouldn't.
And then there was science and math, where in school I excelled. It was logic and reasoning. There was always a solid answer. One correct formula, no gray area.
Then sometime around the age of 15, something happened. It was like the world opened up for me and got bigger than I ever imagined. I was at church, signing in the choir, and the notes and words in the hymnal jumped out at me. Honestly, I don't remember the message that day, but I do remember sitting down and studying the hymnal. Then, with permission, I took it home. I realized how the notes worked with the lyrics. I understood meter, syllables, and yes, even math. I started to realize how all of these things I loved so much were weaved together. Art and language. Math and music. Meter and timing. How all of things helped each other as they intertwined to make something more powerful than just a sentence. Just a solution. Just a song.
And so I wrote a poem. It was June 21, 1998, and I was 15 years old.
Her world went black,
Without a sound,
She turned her back,
And hit the ground.
An envelope was laid,
On the desk in the hall,
Surrounded by the shade,
Of the lamp standing tall.
It sat on the wood untouched, alone,
Until the morning sunlight through the window shone.
He picked up an envelope in his hand,
Why it was there he didn't understand.
No writing graced the cover of white,
And so he opened it in morning's light.
A letter was placed neatly inside,
He unfolded the paper, read it, and cried.
Nothing now could undo the pain,
The morning's sunlight now turned to rain.
She'd taken her life, now his love was gone,
He knew in his heart he'd have to go on.
He descended the stairs to where his love lay,
Knelt beside her, closed his eyes, and prayed.
He kissed her cheek and lay down by her side,
And he knew then that his heart had lied.
He took her small hand into his,
And gave her one last, final kiss.
In his hand he held a knife,
And by her side, he took his life.
I'm going to start by saying what you already know: you are awesome! I swear, I have the best readers. You guys have been so patient, waiting for the release of the final book in the Spirit Trilogy. And I'm happy to announce your wait will soon be coming to an end. I'm working on The Soul now and am hoping for a March/April 2016 release.
So to wet your taste buds, here's what you can expect in this sure-to-be epic finale to Lucas and Carrie's story.
“I look like Godzilla’s wife,” I said to myself, looking into the full-length mirror behind my bedroom door. I pick at the blue graduation gown that’s big enough for me and my Siamese twin.
Seriously, these robes needed to be redesigned a hundred years ago. I mean, I got the whole school spirit thing, but why couldn’t I wear one of the fifteen Villisca Blue Jays t-shirts I’d inherited over the course of my one year? That’s more school pride than this atrocity.
Besides, graduating today was not my idea. I had no intention of walking across a stage to receive my diploma. Rumor had it, if you didn’t show up they’d mail it to you, so I didn’t see why the fanfare was necessary. The hell that was last month was still fresh on my mind, and this whole graduation celebration didn’t seem worth the mental effort.
Especially when tomorrow I’d be leaving.
I slipped my feet into white flip flops. “That’s more like it.”
I took one last look at myself, groaned, and swung the door open. Lucas, with his hand raised to knock, stood on the other side. His glowing green eyes ran the length of my body and back up before he lowered his hand.
“Now that is damn sexy.” He nodded his approval.
I glared at him. “Oh shut up.”
“No, I’m serious. Very hot.”
I went to slug him, but he disappeared and my fist hit at air. From behind me, strong, cool arms circled my waist and pulled me against him. His head lowered to my neck, and his lips brushed over my skin.
“I love you, Carrie,” he said out loud. Then, in my head, he added, “You don’t have to come with me tomorrow. You can go home with your mom if you want.”
Since we’d gotten back from Jessica’s funeral, Lucas hasn’t let an opportunity to convince me to stay behind while he goes to North Carolina slide away from him. He wanted to protect me, and I knew that. Still, I proved time and time again that I could take care of myself—with a little help.
Plus, Lucas soul-search wouldn’t only affect him. Half of his soul now resided in me.
“Not a chance. I’m coming with you,” I said, like I have every single time. “I meant it when I said we’d do this together.”
I spun around in his arms to face him. Lifted myself up on my tip toes and kissed him. “I love you, Lucas Reynolds, and I’m not giving up on this. We’ll find your soul and we’ll find a way to be together.”
I started this project back in January of 2015 for Beneath the Cape: A Superhero Anthology, and it's finally finished and...PUBLISHED! That's right. The FULL novel is now live on ALL Amazon outlets.
This book has it all--suspense, romance, action, and surprise. I hope you enjoy it!
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