One of the hardest things for me to do as an author is naming people and places in my work. Sometimes I become so obsessed with names that I can’t focus on writing my story until the names are perfect.
A perfect name sounds right and has the appropriate connotations when spoken aloud or read silently. Believe it or not, this is more difficult than one might think.
Leena Weiss is one of the main characters in my story. She is named after a childhood friend of mine named Leena. Her mother was from Finland, and her grandmother lived with the family. For as long as I knew her, the woman never spoke a word of English. I’ve been obsessed with all things Finnish every since.
Linden and Franklin St. Clair’s surname pays homage to the St. Clair family of Rosslyn, Scotland. Also known as Sinclairs, they have a colorful past with an alleged connection to the Knights Templar. That might come in handy when I write additional books in this series.
Braha and Hakon are completely made up names of towns. Since I’ve never been to Finland, I was uncomfortable describing towns I’d never seen. Inventing towns was much easier. I used the George Eastman method for choosing these names: Like Kodak, they are easy to spell and difficult to mispronounce.
Grimm, Russia was the name of a real town along the Volga, River. One of the town’s founding father’s was named Gottfried Grimm, although I don’t think he’s related to the Grimm brothers of fairy tale fame. My maternal grandparents were both born in Grimm and immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. The town dropped it’s German name long ago and is now known as Lesnoi Karamysch.
Somerville is based on a town in the San Diego, California area where my paternal grandparents had an avocado ranch. Noah is named after the son of my grandfather’s ranch hand.
Mendoza came from a bottle of wine in my kitchen. I found out long afterwards that this Argentinian town had German roots which made it even more perfect for my story.
As for the rest of the names, if you are a friend of mine and your name is Reed, Dan, Luca, Peter, Carol, or any other the other names found in Braha, chances are I’ve named my characters in your honor. Take a bow and enjoy the story.