I've always had a thing for knowing about names--what they mean, which ones derive from one another, and what nicknames go with which. One of my favorite parts of writing is naming my characters.
After over 50 stories though, it's getting harder. I hate to be repetitive, but I've caught myself naming a lot of tertiary characters things like Frank, Sam, Jim, Rose, and Becky. Finally, I've started up a database for names I've used, sortable by first, last, book, etc. I've found that William and its variants, Willhelmina and Willa, is the most common single name. Along with W, I have clusters of names beginning with A, C, E, G and M. There is a Rhys in two different series and more than one Karen. There are a couple of Jasons, but both are secondary. Three of my heroes have names that start with Z: Zane, Zach and Zeyd.
The surnames of my characters seem to be overwhelmingly Celtic--either Irish or Scots names account for more than half the list. Next up is Engish, Eastern European (mostly Polish) followed by invented SF or F names. French would be the final category, almost entirely because of my gargoyle series.The heroes have first names that are often a single syllable, and again, are usually Celtic, English, or created. Exceptions include the three Greek were-lion brothers in Just for Jess and of course, the gargoyles.
My heroines tend to have simple names, or, if their names are longer, they have easy to say nicknames--Evie for Evangeline, Caro for Caroline, Jess for Jessamy. Here again, they are almost all English, Celtic, or French, with a few Spanish names tossed in.
So, I think I need to work on my diversity, don't you? Time to venture further afield.
Are there any hero/heroine names you absolutely love? Totally loathe? Would really like to see? Comment below, and I'll draw one name to win a free download of any one of my available books! have a great week! And just for fun, here's one of my favorite name list sites: http://www.namenerds.com/