Just over a month ago I put up a blog asking for comments with names: a name I could use as a character in my third book.
WOW: what a response! Over 370 comments were left in total (you can see them all here). And for all the lovely comments left about Slated and Fractured, thank you so much. This is the stuff that makes writing by yourself for all those hours, days, weeks, months, years....feel worthwhile. And thank you for reading, for choosing to spend your time with Kyla and in her world.
I’ve been itching to reply to so many of the comments. But because I was using a random number generator based on the number of comments left to pick five winners, I didn’t want loads of comments from me mucking up the result. So I had to exercise restraint.
OK I’m sure you are curious so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer!
The five entries chosen at random are:
The five above will all receive a signed copy of Fractured – if in the US/Canada, this will be a US proof copy of Fractured, as being published there by Penguin Imprint Nancy Paulsen books next September; anywhere else it will be a final copy as published in the UK by Orchard Books on 4th April. To receive this you need to contact me telling me where you want it sent.
Then came the hard part: I had to pick one of these five names for a character in book 3.
THE NAME I HAVE CHOSEN IS...
MADISON! (#61 maddy)
Congratulations! Madison is a good friend to Kyla in book 3; she is funny and a little crazy (crazy in a good way), and is important to both Kyla and the story. And that is all I will say about her for now.
Picking one name out of the five wasn’t easy! I tried them all on in my head to a few different characters in the story, and once I got to Madison, I just knew that it fit. It is hard to explain but sometimes a particular character just seems to demand a particular name. I’ll also add I was very tempted by Caragh – love this name, too! – but somehow my character felt like more of a Madison.
How I choose character names varies. Sometimes, I know a character’s name from the beginning, without really knowing why. Examples would be Amy, Kyla’s sister, and Jazz, Amy’s boyfriend. Other times I name them instantly, and then later decide the name must change; that as the character evolved the name didn’t fit them anymore. Other times when I’m writing really fast I put ‘X’ or a placeholder name that I know I’ll change later, and really struggle with the name. One I really struggled with was Katran in Fractured (how that name was suggested by a reader and chosen is here).
BUT WAIT: THERE'S MORE...
In book 3, there was one name I really struggled with. I originally called him Max, and was happy with the name. Then realized – face palm head plant keyboard – that it wasn’t great to have two characters in the same book named Mac and Max. I couldn’t change Mac, as he’s already in the first two books. So Max had to change.
For a while I called Max Charlie, but it just never felt right to me. And this dilemma was really what made me think about having this having a character named after you idea in the first place.
Here is the surprise: I’ve picked another name to use in book 3 from all the comments. This wasn’t chosen by random, I read every comment until I saw this one:
So Charlie/Max is now renamed...
I know that Finley is a name that can be a boy or a girl, and I don’t know who left comment no. 59. If they are a girl I hope they won’t mind: my character Finley is an awesome guy, one who may surprise you. Enough said about him for now. #59 Finley contact me to let me know where to send it and you'll get a copy of Fractured, too.
Thanks again so much to everyone who entered. I’m sorry I couldn’t put you all in the story, but that would be a massive cast of characters. Once again, I can’t begin to tell you how happy all the comments left have made me.
And there are some names on this comment list I’m keeping in mind, like Saskia, Luna, Tiana, Millana, Sarana, Alisa, Layney, Shelby, Ciara, and many others. Who knows: they may appear in a book I write in the future?
Before I go, here are a few comments I can’t resist responding to:
This really made me laugh! And I’m so happy with a school that understands that sometimes there are things more important than tests. Was this St Georges in Blackpool?
Also: lovely #268 Carlotta – of course I remember you! – and from Heffers #236 Stef, #237 Amy Louise, #238 Mawgen, #245 Katie, #302 Roxanna, and #356 Isobel – thanks for entering, and it was great to meet you all. Likewise to everyone who entered from my school events – it is wonderful to hear back from you.
Now I’m off to put the new names into the book 3 manuscript...