Naming the Boys We Love

They say it takes a village of idiots to raise a book, and mine are no different. My books, not my idiots.

Anyway, remember how you all1 came to my rescue during the writing of TWENTY BOY SUMMER for naming my main character’s deceased first love and for sharing your summer seaside memories, heartfelt and embarrassing as they may have been? Yes? Yes?

Loyal readers and those whom I stalk, I need your creative input once again!

I don’t know what it is about me getting all tongue-tied when it comes to naming my MC’s love interests, but here’s the deal. I need some names for the book two boy (B2B), and sadly, Kaleb Nation is already taken (if you haven’t heard about Twilight Guy, and you like vampire boys and the boys who heart them, stop by and show some blood-love for Kaleb soon).

Anyway, a little bit about B2B to get you thinking:

  1. Patrick is seventeen years old.
  2. He grew up in the fictional maple sugar town of Red Falls, Vermont, but moved to the fictional city of New York with his mother five years ago. He still spends summers in VT with his father.
  3. Patrick helps Dad with contract and construction work on local houses. He’s very handy, and looks good sweating in a tight white shirt with tools hanging off his low-slung tool belt.
  4. Patrick has dark amber eyes (but unlike Edward Cullen’s eyes, Patrick’s don’t change color when he’s hungry or in a mood) and messy brown hair that he usually pulls into a low ponytail.
  5. Every Thursday in the summer, he sings and plays acoustic guitar at Luna’s coffee shop on Main Street in Red Falls. Coincidentally, Thursdays are Luna’s busiest nights.
  6. If you were, say, the 50-something mother of the author of this book, not naming names, you would probably go all cougar on this kid. Rarrr!
  7. Patrick is very intense, but sweet and sincere. Girls fall for him all the time but he’s not into random hookups (sorry nameless cougars).
  8. He’s definitely a Twilight Guy. Swoon!

Getting some ideas? Cool. Here are the rules:

  1. I need a last name and a nickname.
  2. He was known as Little Ricky as a kid, so the nickname can’t be Ricky or Rick.
  3. Last name has to go with Patrick and Ricky, since his Dad still goes by Ricky.
  4. His nickname doesn’t necessarily have to relate to his interests and hobbies, but it could, as long as it isn’t tacky and obvious, like Handy or Guitar Boy or Sexy White T-Shirt Guy.
  5. The nickname should be something his teenage guy friends would call him.
  6. Not Patsy or Patty or Pat.

So, any suggestions?

1. You all: for my Buffalo and Jersey friends, that’s yoos guys. For our neighbors to the south, it’s y’all. Up in tha club, that’s all y’all.

Character Soup

Last week I had the opportunity to cheer from the crowd (I even did the wave a little bit in my head) at Tattered Cover Books for fellow Lighthouse member Carleen Brice as she celebrated the launch of her debut novel, Orange Mint and Honey. I haven’t read my copy yet, but if it’s half as good as jazz band, the wine, the orange chocolate brownie (okay, brownies, if we’re being honest), and the company that came together for the book party, well… just go pick up a copy, okay? Because Carleen’s reading was wonderful. I mean, everyone was hooked.

Young Reader
A young Brice fan.

LWW Cheerleaders
Me, Jenny (my fave Lighthouse instructor), Karen, and Lisa.

Carleen & Fans
Carleen talks about family bonds in Orange Mint and Honey.

A woman in the audience asked Carleen how she developed secondary characters for the novel; specifically, the main character’s love interest. Here’s what she had to say:

I love that answer because it’s so true. When I was in Buffalarctica last month, one of my brother’s friends said, “I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to end up in the book.” I laughed. “Too late,” I told him. “Everyone I meet goes in the book.”

Really. It might be something you say or a gesture or the way your face changes when you talk about the person you love. It might be a scar on your chin or the color of your eyes or the way you sing and play air guitar at my brother’s shows (yes, I’m talking to you, Nameless Air Guitar Man with whom I’m utterly fascinated). Maybe it’s your laugh or your beliefs or your nickname or the way I feel when I’m around you – good, bad, or ugly. Whatever it is, you’re all going into the character soup, and one day you’ll read my book and you’ll recognize something on the page and you’ll smile or cringe… and then you’ll know what I mean.

So when Carleen talked about stirring in all the best men in her life, including her husband and grandpa and brother and video store cutie, I smiled, because I knew exactly what she meant.

(It’s unfortunate that no one asked her how those orange chocolate brownies were developed, but then again, I am taking a beach vacation this summer… *shudder*)

Anyway, best of luck to Carleen on Orange Mint and Honey!

Book Signing