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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Branded With A Name

Have you ever heard someone's name and immediately associated it with someone else? 

When I here the name Heathclif, the first thing I think of is Heathclif of Wuthering Heights. When I here the name Garfield, a lazy fat lasagna-eating cat appears in my brain. When the name Rocky is mentioned, are you like me and imagine the Italian Stallion boxer droning exhaustively for his Adrienne? Point being, we all have certain names that can be linked through various intangible ways to their famous counterparts.

One book that inspired this post, is a new release from Margaret Ethridge entitled CONTENTMENT. She's written a story about a common issue among married couples. While they appear to lead happy lives in a perfect neighborhood, holding down great jobs, and raising several wonderful kids, their marriage is on the brink of failure as they try to keep up the front and virtually live separate lives under the same roof.

When I read this book, I was so enthralled by Ms. Ethridge's talent for writing with heart and intensity as she broke apart these multi-layered characters without slowing down the pace. She brings you a story that sucks you in until you've no choice but to laugh and cry right along with the characters.

The couple in this endearing romance is Sean and Tracy. While the names seem common enough, their household Irish names have been etched into my brain forever as the protagonists who learned how to fall back in love with each other. From now on, whenever I hear either of them, I will revert to Margaret's beloved characters in this timeless novel.

As an author, I've obviously done the same with all my characters. I'll never hear the names Grayson or Chloe again without thinking of my book SILENT PARTNER. Or Daegan without thinking of RAELIKSEN.

So, what about you? Whose name do you instantly associate with someone else who's encompassed the name first?


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14 comments:

Virginia C said...

Hey, Renee : ) I have two favorite names, and they are the names of two of my all-time favorite men. The men are wonderful, but they are also connected to parts of my life that make me who I am as a person. The love of my life is Sam Elliott. At the first sound of "SAM", my Sam comes to mind, and that makes me smile. I love Sam for many reasons, but he is permanently linked in my brain with my love of the American Old West. I come from a family that watched the great western TV shows together when I was a kid. My grandfather loved to read Zane Greay and Louis L'Amour. My mom and her cousins watched the great western movie serials each week at the theater, and then they went home and played cowboys and rode stick horses.

My other favorite name is "Max". My beloved mixed mini-dachshund, Max, was named after a very romantic TV character named Maximillian! Max lived to be almost 20 years old. He was the light of my life. He never thought small–he thought he was a Rottweiler! As a matter of fact, one of his many, many nicknames was “Baby Rottweiler” : ) He had a “radar ear” which seemed to rotate in many directions. He communicated his feelings with that ear! He was a “go” dog. I have an old Chevy Blazer, and I kept the back seat folded down and built up a platform bed so that Max could reach the window and hang his head out, “ears to the wind”.

Tina Donahue said...

I guess the first that comes to my mind are Rhett and Scarlett. Then there's Romeo and Juliet. Cinderella and Prince Charming - or did he have a first name? Can't recall. :)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Providing characters with the right name isn't easy. It takes lots of thought, time and effort on the part of those of us who write.

Jacqueline Seewald
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS
STACY'S SONG

Renee Vincent said...

Virginia: I KNEW you'd mention Sam Elliot when I wrote this post. hee hee

And your dog Max sounds so adorable. I had a dog that meant the world to me, just like yours did for you and his name was Monty. Anytime I hear that name or Montgomery, I think of him.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts sweetie.

Tina: Oh yes! Rhett is definitely a good one.

Jacqueline: You are so right. Names can be hard to come up with - especially the right name. Thanks for sharing!

MichelleKCanada said...

There will never be another Daegan for me!
A couple of others, Bones, Jamie Fraser, Ranger, MacKayla and Barrons.

I think character names are so important. They have to own them. I love that you include Contentment there because the names are just Sean and Tracy it is perfect for the characters. I love that book!

Great post!
MichelleKCanada
Another Look Book Reviews

Valerie said...

Angel, the male on the old buffy series, and especially Zachary from Cherise Sinclair's "Shadowlands" series..

jeff7salter said...

Whenever I see or hear the name 'Duke' I always think of John Wayne.
With 'Lassie' I always think of a collie.
'Guido' always makes me think of a gangster.
"Bullwinkle" always evokes a stupid moose. Ha.
'Bugs' = wabbit.

mbreakfield said...

I know that I read a book and the hero's name was Jethro and I just couldn't get the Beverly Hillbillies out of my head.

Janice said...

I got a name for you, Barnabas Collins. It sends a chill up the spine of most baby boomers.

Dark shadows.

Janice~

Sandy said...

Interesting post. Fun to read.

Margaret said...

Oh wow! What a huge compliment! Thanks so much, Renee. It's so funny that you posted this. I ran into a former co-worker Friday, and he told me he and his wife are expecting a baby in November. The name they've chosen? Grayson. I immediately thought of Silent Partner even though I finished reading your book months ago.

We must be embedded in one another's subconscious. If that's the case, can I see Daegan naked now?

There are some character names that are indelibly linked for me. Books, movies, TV shows - they all leave a lasting impression on our hearts.

Just a few examples off the top of my head? Rhett & Scarlett, Darcy and Elizabeth, Katie and Hubble, and Lorelai and Luke from Gilmore Girls.

Thanks so much for the mention. I'm incredibly flattered!

jean hart stewart said...

Fun post...Shana comes to my mind from the book by Kathleen Woodweiss. For some reason that name really stuck with me.

Renee Vincent said...

MichelleK I'm so thrilled you loved Daegan too! He is so yummy. No one like him. And you read CONTENTMENT too? Awesome read, wasn't it?
Thanks for visiting with me, sweetie!

Valerie Thanks for sharing with us!

Jeff: Ah, yes, the Duke and Bugs. Two memorable wascally chawacters!

mbreakfield: haha Too funny! I would think the same!

Janice: Never heard of him, but it sent a chill up my spine for sure!

Sandy: Thanks for stopping by!

Margaret: Ah, my favorite author arrives! So glad you could visit with us. And I love that you thought of my SILENT PARTNER when your co-worker named their baby Grayson. I could just scream with joy, I'm so flattered. Thanks again for visiting withe me. It's always a pleasure to chat with you!

Renee Vincent said...

Jean: I think Kathleen Woodweiss' characters are compelling for many people. She is a wonderful author!

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