Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's in a name?

Is it okay to call your historical hero a name like Blake, Brad or Burke?
Yes - and no. If the connotations most readers will apply to the name are not the ones you're looking for, you might want to think again. And if the name is deeply anachronistic, you definitely want to think again!
You can use most names, as long as you give a plausible explanation. I found that in the period I wrote in, the 1750's, the name "Richard" was out of favour (much as names come and go with fashion), so when I had a hero called Richard, I called his father Richard and made clear it was
a family name.

A Jared could have an Arabic relation, or like Jo Beverley did with the Mallorens, there was a real explanation for the weird names so that worked fine.

My latest series, the Triple Countess, has Miranda, Orlando and Perdita, because there were some Shakespeare fanatics about, but the final son is Corin, an Irish name, because his mother married an Irish peer.