Hi, my name is Cynthia Arsuaga. I’m a relatively new author, actually a very new author. My first release was in January, followed by two more and a week ago had my fourth accepted, the sequel to the first release. This little exercise in promotion is one of the ways I’m supposed to get the word out about my books and myself, and as I thought about what I had to write, ‘er Blog about, well I figured why not talk about what’s in a name. This led me to think about my name, Cynthia Arsuaga. Should I use my real name or a pen name?
As you no doubt have figured out, Cynthia is okay to pronounce. Haven’t had too many problems over the years with that one. Although, people do tend to automatically call me Cindy, which I really don’t like. I like Cindy, not the presumption. Ask my husband. He’s never, ever called me Cindy since the day we met. Now, to the last name—Arsuaga. The name isn’t a problem for those of Hispanic background because it’s Spanish Basque. Keep in mind, my lineage isn’t Spanish Basque, it’s my husband’s. I always tell people I proudly chose the name, I wasn’t born with it. His family originates from that region in Spain and can trace his family roots back to the “Old Country”. So, how do you pronounce the name you ask? It has had some derivations over the years, some of which have had me rolling in the aisles with laughter, but after thirty plus years living with the name, I’ve learned to take the well-meant mispronunciations in stride. I can’t get upset with anyone because the name is certainly chocked full of vowels. Hopefully, after everyone starts to see, buy, and enjoy my stories, the pronunciation will become easy.
Can picking your book title be as important as your author name? Should it roll off the tongue easily? Long, short, tell the story in a few brief words? Do you come up with a title before you start to write or after you’ve begun? Or have it change when the publisher takes a crack at it? I’ve wondered these questions and in my brief explorations on chat rooms, social networks, and blogs (there’s that word again), I don’t think I’ve seen the questions answered directly. Some say they like a title, but never asked the author how they came up with it. As Shakespeare so eloquently wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet;” and the rest is history. This passage from Romeo and Juliet is recognizable and associated with Shakespeare hundreds of years later. So, is a name important or not?
I created my characters’ names on purpose. Their monikers were important to me and had to be just right. My heroine, Alexandra Carlton, also known as Alex, came first. I knew her instantly, no question about it. The hero, I actually researched a name for him. I wanted his name to be authentic, not made up or a “maybe it could fit” or “it sounded good” name. Stefan Marin had a meaning behind the use. The secondary characters had the same thought and care put into their names as well; especially the villain, Dragos Munteanu.
And the title? Born to Be Wild came to me within writing the first two pages. Alex drove Highway 95 north to Virginia on a hunt for the rogue vampire in her candy apple red ‘Stang with the CD blaring her favorite song. And the story unfolded from there, living up to its title. My Life as a Dog, which I co-authored with my husband, came about the same way. The story is about a private investigator that has special abilities, namely a shape-shifting Yorkshire terrier. Drake Martin has the ability to get into places, and trouble, that other shape-shifters never could. My latest release, The Cougar and Her Vampire, evolved. I had two other titles before I settled on the final one. The “Cougar” in this book is not a shape-shifter, but an older woman who meets up with a younger man, except he turns out to be a three hundred year old vampire. Hopefully, the titles will resonate with readers. Only time will tell.
So the final question is—do you think a name is important? Let me know what you think.
Oh, my name’s pronounced R-SWA-GA (short “a” sounds). Remember the name, Cynthia Arsuaga, erotic paranormal romance author. Find me at http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com or www.secretcravingspublishing.com/CynthiaArsuaga.html where I have excerpts of my other novels and other interesting information.