I’m going gangbusters on my new Jackson novel (#9), but I keep getting stuck trying to decide names. So I often throw something in—so I can keep writing—and tell myself I’ll think of the right name later.

Well, 20,000 words in, it’s time to settle on some names. And readers are always so helpful, I’m asking everyone to pitch in again. I’ll make it worth your while, of course, by giving away a print copy of Crimes of Memory, Jackson #8 to my favorite submission, or if you prefer, an ebook when it’s released on Oct. 15. I also have print and ebook ARCs of The Trigger, a standalone thriller coming out January 1 for other entries I like. Winners get to chose their prize.

In this new (nameless) story, Jackson investigates the death of a young woman who works as a caregiver but has a shadowy existence and no connections to anyone. I need a name for her and her three-year-old son, who becomes quite attached to Jackson.

My first thought for the boy was Cory, but I already have too many K sounds in Jackson’s personal world (Katie and Kera). So I switched his name to Milo, which I really like, but sadly, I decided the name is too much like Micah (Kera’s grandson). I try not to confuse readers. So I’m looking for something sweet—for the boy, that is. (I’m personally trying to give up sugar…again.)

In addition, one of the suspects is a fourteen-year-old who lives next door, a skater who claims to hate guns and violence, yet has a collection of knives He needs a more compelling name than Josh, the placeholder I’m using.

And being one of my complex mysteries, there’s a second victim, a star UO football player, a quarterback with emotional baggage that I really can’t reveal. So I need three young male names of varying ages.

Feel free to submit for all, or just one…if it seems perfect. You can leave a comment or email me with your submissions. Thanks for participating.

  1. Zach for the little boy and Nick for the skater 🙂

  2. What letters have you not used? W? Wade, Walt, Wayne. H? Henry, Harrison, Halton? U? Ulan, Ulric, Unni?

  3. Zack and Nick sound good just don’t use the same first letter more than twice.
    Remember that there are 26 letters available.
    Joseph, Sean, Luke, Noah, Jeff, actually Nick is used by too many authors.
    Unique spelling is good just don’t spell the name too different so that the reader has no clue as to pronunciation.
    Really anxious for any of your next books esp. Jackson’s story.

  4. This is such fun, L.J.! I e-mailed you several name possibilities & here are more.

    Malice could be a first name for one of your suspects.

    Moses Brown could be your football player. Or Saran Simmons.

    The three year old could be Jacob or Tyler or Bennie or Billy.

    If I were one of your winners, I’d love the paperback.

  5. My son’s name is Octavious- not a name we chose- he was 5 1/2 months when he came to us. I did not like the name initially but he is .. an Octavious and now I would not have him named anything else. Sometimes he goes by Tavus. It’s a strong name…

  6. How about Damion, Dexter, and Darion

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