Thanks for participating! As always, people made creative suggestions. Most readers also submitted several names, so I have plenty to use for minor characters as well. So chances are, you’ll see all these names pop up in the next Agent Dallas story. As info, I received lots of submissions via email—in response to my blog going out that way—so many of the names and winners here don’t show up in the comments of the original post. Here’s how it went for choosing the winners.
For the actor/victim, I was torn between Richard King (submitted by Dani at Blog Book Tours) and James Avery, submitted by John Kurtze. Both names have the sophisticated tone I was looking for. In the end, I chose James Avery, so congratulations, John.
There were plenty of great names offered for the male CEO too, such as William Grissom, Malone William, and Michael Pence. See the pattern? Most of you were on the same page with an upscale, old-world kind of name. But this CEO is a little more new age, with a technology background, so my favorite offering was the first name Max, submitted by Marvene Carroll. And I think I’ll use Grissom as his last name. So Stephanie Grissom, who submitted her own full name, wins an ebook too.
As for the young Hispanic detective: I liked the suggestion Raul Acosta. But I’m leery of using three-syllable names for main/POV characters because I worry they’re too much work for readers. I also liked Jose Cortez, submitted by Susan Mobley, but I think too many people will mispronounce or stumble over his first name. So I combined the two suggestions and named the detective Raul Cortez. So both participants get an ebook. (I reserve the right to change my mind about this if the possessive version (Cortez’s) starts become problematic.)
The toughest choice was the female CEO. I loved the names Veronica, Madeline, and Adrianna. But this character is a little more aggressive than those names imply. Because several people submitted Theresa, with Risa as a shortened version in one case, I thought I would use it. Then I remembered that I have another prominent character with a similar sounding name that I didn’t want to give up. Bummer. But I still like the name Risa, submitted by Risa Rispoli, do I’ll use her whole name as a minor character, probably a reporter. At the last minute, someone submitted Cherryl, and it grabbed me. The name is strong and easy to pronounce. So I combined it with the placeholder name I was already using, Decker, and the female CEO will be called Cherryl Decker. Congratulations to Cherryl Thomson, who submitted her own name and also to Risa, who wins an ebook as well.
But the grand-prize winner was an unexpected name for a minor character I mentioned in passing. Betty Weaver submitted the name Grumpy for the detective’s pet, a pot-bellied pig. I loved it, so Betty wins a print book of her choice. Thanks, Betty, for making the effort!
Everyone else with winning submissions gets a free ebook of their choice. Or if you’ve already read everything I’ve written, I can gift an ebook to someone else for you, or I can send you an early copy of my next book (Agent Dallas #2). Thanks again for participating! You make this part of the planning fun for me.