Samantha Answers Readers' Questions
How do you decide upon names??
Choosing names is one of my favorite, and often more challenging, parts of the job. Everyone and everything in Regency romance needs a name—the servants, the horses, even the houses. It can be hard to keep up with them all! Plus, I have a tendency to get stuck on one letter so all the supporting characters end up with names starting with a C or J in the first draft. Sometime I refer to a baby name book or website to name characters. Occasionally, I’ll post on Facebook and ask readers to help me choose a name. That’s how the poodle in Uncle Charlie’s Angels got the name Cupid. When I was creating the Darlington sisters, I searched for names associated with angels. Their mother was fascinated by angel lore, and their father was smitten with her and allowed her to choose their daughters’ names. Regina (the oldest) is named after the queen of angels. Sophia (the youngest) shares a name with the angel of wisdom. And some sources say the name Evangeline (middle sister) means ‘bringer of good news’ or ‘like an angel’. I could have chosen an actual angel name for her, but as a reader, it throws me off when I'm not sure how to pronounce a character's name. Xapham, Hadraniel, Zuphlas... I'm pretty sure I'm messing those names up in my head right now.
There’s a fantasy name generator website that I like to use to spark my own ideas. After I choose a title, I do a search to make sure there wasn’t a real-life Duke of Foxhaven or Viscount Margrave. I don’t want to accidentally be writing about a real person. Yikes!
Do you come up with a ‘family tree’???
I do have family trees! Thank you for asking. You can find family trees for the Forests, Hillarys, and Darlingtons here.