So happy to welcome author Delia Latham as she discusses character names, answers an author spotlight, and shares about the Smoky Mountain Christmas Blog Tour.
Names can be light and fun or downright serious; as small as the babies who inherit them, or so big it seems ridiculous to pin them on children; old as Methuselah or brand, spankin’ new. Whatever the situation…good or bad…names are identity.
So, when it comes to fiction, what’s in a name, anyway?
Well, since you asked, the answer is: Fun! I love naming my characters. It’s a great little perk in an occupation that can be time-consuming, solitary, and even tedious, now and then.
I did something kind of amusing with names in Do You See What I See?—my novella in today’s featured collection, Smoky Mountain Christmas. More on that in a bit…
Character names might be based on ancestry, occupation, or any number of details. But I get the most enjoyment when I give a character a name simply because I love the way it pings my emotions or rolls off my tongue. For instance, the heroine in my novella, Hummingbird Kisses (Hummingbird Hollow, #1), is LiTonya (Toni) Littlebird. She’s of Native American ancestry and has a special gift for communicating with these tiniest of birds. LiTonya means “hummingbird darting.” Littlebird came along from my own busy mind, and seriously…what could be more perfect for this heroine?
In Like a Dance (Hummingbird Hollow, #3) the heroine’s name is Teela. It’s a play on a play of my name, which is pronounced Deela—not Delya, as the spelling seems to indicate. I started using Deela as a spelling key to simplify the pronunciation and found that I kind of liked it. So Teela was born.
Let’s talk about a few character names in my Smoky Mountain Christmas novella. Here’s a list of several key female characters, including the heroine, and their nicknames:
Jimmie (No nickname)
Do you see what I see? These are all women/girls with names usually reserved for boys/men. Surprise, surprise, fellas! We ladies can rock your macho monikers and, when we behave accordingly, give them a lovely, feminine flair.
My beloved Granny’s birth certificate read George Delia Berry. (Her ‘Delia’ was pronounced Deelee…) Her twin sister was Jim Nelia. Even as a child I loved that, even though I found it kind of weird that girls could have “boys’ names.” Can you imagine my excitement when a girl named George showed up in my much-loved Nancy Drew books?
Are you one of those “a name is a name is a name” people…or does a person’s “handle” grab your attention and make you think about how right or wrong it is for its owner?*
Thank you for visiting today’s stop on the Smoky Mountain Christmas Blog Tour. We (Jeanie, Amber, Rose and I) hope you’ll come along. The “route” is indicated in the links below. At the end of the month, we’ll draw a grand prize winner from readers who leave comments and contact info. Other, smaller prizes will be awarded along the way. You’ll find a question scattered here and there that will require a visit to one of our websites for answers to the clues we provide.
Today’s hide-and-seek question: What is the name of my street team?
The prize: An electronic copy of Smoky Mountain Christmas
- Do you have a dedicated place to write, or a nook or corner of a room, or the kitchen table?
I have an office that shares space with a spare bedroom, and I do write there…but I have to admit, not often. Most of my writing takes place in a comfortable, over-sized chair in my living room. Here’s a photo. Like it? 🙂
- What can your readers expect from you next?
Thanks for asking! My next release will be One Harvest Knight, one of the novellas in the upcoming Grace Kitchen collection. I’m seriously excited about these books! You’ll visit an unusual soup kitchen; meet the folks who make up the Harvest Town Square; and hopefully discover a latent burden to help the needy—maybe even see the indigent, the downtrodden, the segment of society collectively known as “the homeless” in a different light.
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Oh, I thought you’d never ask!
If you enjoy a book and want to help make it a success, here are some great ways to do that:
Talk about it to everyone you know, even if you don’t think they’re readers. Seeing your excitement will make them want to read that book.
Contact the author and ask for bookmarks to share with your friends, your book club, your church ladies’ group, mailperson, hairdresser, waitress, child’s teacher…you get the picture.
Join the author’s street team. These oh-so-important background figures support, encourage and keep us writing even through the darkest days. Find information about my street team here. (Scroll down when the page opens.)
Write a review, and post it to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads…anywhere readers go to buy or discuss books. You don’t need to be a “good writer,” and you don’t have to write much—just a sentence or two saying what you liked or disliked about the book will do. Reviews are super important, and super appreciated by every author.
About Smoky Mountain Christmas:
Claude Buchanan is turning 80. Ida Buchanan wants her husband to have an 80th birthday he’ll never forget. His one request is for all their children and grandchildren to be there for the party. They have four sons, and each one has a daughter—the heroines in each of the novellas. The cousins all share the last name of Buchanan.All four young women left Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the last few years—for reasons specific to each—and moved to another area or state. For that reason, they don’t want to return for the party. But because they love their grandparents, they do. Returning home forces each young woman to deal with what caused her to leave in the first place, and in each case, opens the door to true love.The birthday party takes place in Granddaddy and Granny Buchanan’s barn on Christmas Eve, and each of the four novellas end that same day, just prior to the party, which is featured in the epilogue accompanying the last book in the series.
“I do not. Want. To go.”
Laramie Buchanan forced the words through clenched teeth. They emerged somewhere between a hiss and a growl.
Her friend Sydney Traynor studied a soap display, clearly bent on making it better than perfect. Business partners and roommates, the young women were also lifelong friends and shared a relationship as close as sisters.
Sydney spoke over her shoulder, her critical gaze still fixed on the gorgeous grouping of scented bath products. “Why are you so upset about this trip, Lari? It’s your Granddaddy’s eightieth birthday—that’s a big deal. And you haven’t been home in three years. What’s the problem?”
As if you don’t know. Laramie drew in a lungful of air and tried to calm her screaming nerves. If I react like this just thinking about Evan, what would I do if I ran into him back home?
About the Author:
Delia and her husband Johnny live in East Texas, where their pampered Pomeranian, Kona, kindly allows them to share her home. The author enjoys multiple life roles as wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but above all, she loves being a princess daughter to the King of kings. She admits to a lifelong, mostly unbattled Dr. Pepper addiction, and loves hearing from her readers.
Contact this author at any of the following locations:
Christmas in July Blog Tour Schedule
July 2 – All Betts Are Off (Delia Latham)
July 3 – Pam’s Wild Rose Blog (joint post with Delia Latham & Tiffany Amber Stockton)
July 4 – Whispers in Purple (Delia Latham)
July 4 – Julie Arduini: Surrender Issues and Chocolate (Rose Allen McCauley)
July 8 – All Betts Are Off (Tiffany Amber Stockton)
July 10 – Whispers in Purple (Tiffany Amber Stockton)
July 11 – Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud (Delia Latham)
July 12 – The World Can Wait (Delia Latham)
July 18 – The World Can Wait (Tiffany Amber Stockton)
July 22 – All Betts Are Off (Jeanie Smith Cash)
July 31 – Pam’s Wild Rose Blog (joint post with Jeanie Smith Cash & Rose Allen McCauley)