Character Naming Contest

In the course of writing a novel, you have to come up with at least 15 names, possibly as many as 40, depending on the genre. Police procedurals (my current genre), with lots of suspects and neighbors to interview require an endless stream of names. For minor characters, I often go with whatever pops into my mind. Sometimes, it works out and sometimes not so much.

But I’d like to do better than that for a family of characters who comprise most of the main players in the novel I’m currently writing. So I’m looking for a little help, a little fun, and an opportunity to give away a few more copies of The Sex Club. (Someday soon, I promise, I will have a second novel on the market I can tempt you with.)

Primarily, I need great last name for a family. Four people will have this last name so it has to be just right. Something a little unusual, but easy to read and pronounce. This is a working class, Oregon family who has hit hard times. Essentially, good people but all a little flawed, a little willing to bend the rules to ease their pain. Dad, mom, (both early forties), an 18-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old son.

Whoever suggests the best last name (a completely subjective choice by me) wins a free copy of The Sex Club. If you offer four great first names, I’ll use your personal name as one of my other characters. But I won’t give your name to the bad guy unless you’d like me to.

Don’t bother with the name the Jack. I love it, but I’ve sworn off it. (As humorously highlighted in my blog about the Power of K.) If you want to keep your entry private, you can e-mail me.

So name those characters! You can’t win if you don’t play. Check back on Friday for winners and don’t forget to bookmark my blog. 🙂

19 Comments
  1. Maybe “Mariotte” as a family name? I pull names off the books in my library. Google wants the name to be “Mariott” (i.e., like the hotel chain). A real old Oregon family name would go back to the explorers and settlers, and may keep the original spelling.

  2. Hi LJ, here are some suggested names for your book.

    Family Name: Glass
    Father: Donald or James
    Mother: Alice or Karen
    Daughter: Kelley or Sherry
    Son: Jeremy or Jonathon

  3. Ok, I’m just gonna through these names at you. Last name: Harper
    Father: Glen
    Mother: Karen
    daughter: Danielle
    Son: Jake or Nick

  4. Last Name
    O’Toole
    Father: Michael (Goes by Red)
    Mother: Claire
    Daughter: Colleen (Named after Grandmother)
    Son: Patrick (named after Grandfather)

  5. I like the name Hyden as a family name.

    For the parents: Kyle and Annette
    Daughter: Olivia
    Son: Benjamin

  6. Last name: Bevil

    Dad’s name: Ken
    Mom’s name: Kathleen
    Son: John
    Daughter: Elaine

  7. Family name: Slayton
    Father: Thomas “Tom” Louis Slayton
    Mother: Millie Ann Ward Slayton – Moved from the South as a child
    Son: Michael Ward Slayton
    Daughter: Susan “Suzi” Louise Slayton

  8. Family name: Walker
    Father’s name: Ben (Benjamin)
    Mother’s name: Carla
    Son: Joe (Joseph)
    Daughter: Maggie (Margaret)

  9. Okay L.J.,

    I’m going with the Last name–MacNamera– a character in my WIP is named Sally MacNamera and is the best friend of the heroine, so I’m partial to it.

    As far as first names,(for the 15 yr boy character) Caesden–He is the hero in my WIP. I just fell in love with it and him..he resembles country artist–Keith Urban
    For the 18 yr old girl character–Whitney—because of 2 reasons–1. I love the name and 2nd it’s my oldest daughter’s name.
    Dad Character–David–I just have always loved that name
    Mother Character–Kristian

    It took some thought because I’m not sure what are popular names in the Midwest, but there you have my collection. Hope they help!
    Happy Writing!

  10. Last Name: Hardegree
    Parents: David and Sherri
    Son: Eddie
    Daughter: Sophie

  11. Family name- Morgan
    Parents names- Daniel and Delores
    Son-Jerald
    Daughter- Emma

  12. Last Name: LaPointe
    Parents: Gazelle and Henri
    Son: Pierre (“Pete”)
    Daughter: Max, short for Maxine

    ‘Course it all depends on the characters themselves and what would fit them!

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

  13. This is fun! It’s hard to keep writing with the names I have in place. I can’t wait to finalize.

  14. Hi LJ here are my names….

    Last name : Blackbhawk

    Dad: Jason or to play off your favorite name Jax

    Mom: Tracy or Leena

    Daughter : Roweena (goes by Ro) or Trina

    Son : Dylan or Dillon, or Hank

  15. Sorry …last name should be Blackhawk…..

  16. I like the fact that you enjoy social networking. I do, too. It is nice to get to know normal people & writers, like this. Pun intended. You are welcome to join in anything I ever do on FB. I love mysteries since I was a kid. Perry Mason was my first idol along with Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot, even though I did not read them till much after they were first printed. But a good book lasts forever.
    I like Kilpatrick for the family’s last name. It sounds good. It’s traditional, yet edgy. They can be the poorer relatives of the clan. You can see a longstanding family, whose members may occassionally break the rules, have that last name. The father’s name which appeals to me is Richard. He could also use a nickname. For the mother’s character, the name which appeals to me is Emily. I liked Christine at first, but it doesn’t go well with Richard. For the daughter, I chose Amber, for its mysterious allure. The boy would make a perfect William Kilpatrick, or Billy, as he is better known.
    Take care, L.J.

  17. Last Name: Upshaw
    Parents: Frank and Rose
    Boy: Jimmy
    Girl: Leigh

  18. Geez! I wish I’d known this sooner. I love to name characters. I could really go wild on this assignment. I keep a huge database of first and last names for both sexes. Some times, like you, L.J., I pull them from the air. Other times I check my database. Sometimes I giggle for about thirt mintues when I know I nailed it.

  19. Family last name, Wilson
    First name of protagonist, Marvin

    Just give me credits and links, of course – lol

    Already have, read, enjoyed very much and favorably reviewed SEX, but am SO looking forward to another book by you, LJ. You’re a good writer. 🙂

    The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

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