The Name Game by Sheryl Write (Plus a FREE e-book)

Congratulations to SueH! She won a copy of Queen of Hearts!

Happy Sunday, y’all! Please welcome author Sheryl Write. She’s here to share her thoughts and give away an e-book copy of her latest release, Queen of Hearts. Drop a comment below to enter the drawing. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, 9/28/18.

Good luck!


Readers rarely ask authors about character names. Too bad. Finding the perfect name can be one of the most fun and daunting jobs. After all, there are literally millions to choose from and that doesn’t include the number of surnames available and creatable.

When I start a new book, I already have a basic plot in mind. Once I know what I want to write about, I work on developing my characters. Character development is more than just picking a name. It’s about creating the background for her and detailing her as a person. Is she tall or short, thin or curvy? Is white or black or Asian or Native? Is English her first language, and if not when did she become a fluent speaker? Then there’s her accent. Does she have that Scandinavian roll of a Midwesterner, a sweet Southern drawl, or a Texas twang? Does she drop her following T’s like a Torontonian or sound posh like some English Peer? Of course, that all ties into her background. Is she from Miami or Detroit? Did she attend University and if she did was it Penn State or UC Berkley? And what about her family? If dad talks with a heavy Scottish brogue, even if she’s from Dallas, her ancestry will still seep into certain words.

Once I have a handle on where she grew up, was educated, and where she lives and works, it’s time to pinpoint her age. Age is a tough one. Not because there isn’t a certain universality to our stories. There is, especially in lesfic, but our actions, our behaviors can differ drastically. Let’s face it. While we feel the same about love and attraction at almost any age, we think differently as we grow older. What we thought was important at twenty, is still important at fifty but it’s tempered somehow. My twenty-something character will worry about what her friends think. My thirty-something character will worry about ever meeting the one. My forty-something character may be starting over. And my fifty-something character might worry most about her parents declining health.

With a clear picture of my character, her life, her issues, and her experiences, the names almost roll off my tongue. Almost. That doesn’t mean I don’t go looking for inspiration. When I do, I always consider her age, how old her mother was when she was born and of course her ancestry. Too often I read books where the author has a habit of choosing names based on the way they want to see the world. That isn’t necessarily bad. It just gets predictable and often reduces the ‘real’ feel of the story. Yes, I’d love it if every strong lesbian had a masculine name but that’s not realistic and can make a character seem two dimensional.

When I create a character, I want her to be real or realistic. I want her to walk off the page and fill the readers imagination. I want readers to love her, or hate her, but nothing in the middle. For me, getting her name right is the first step. When you read my books, my hope is the character names are almost unnoticeable, almost. When I get it right, if I get it right, the character and her name should just make sense.

Hope you enjoy my latest offering, Queen of Hearts.


Sheryl’s byline reads, Author, Pilot, Engineer

Sheryl started her career in the military as a Musician while she trained to be an Aircraft Instrument/Electrical Tech. She would go on to earn an Electrical Engineering Degree before earning her wings. As a pilot, she’s flown everything from commuter jets, helicopters, and seaplanes including working as a fire patrol/spotter, air ambulance Captain, and a line pilot for Canadian Airlines.

After suffering a Medical Misfortune, Sheryl retired her wings and picked up her pen. Today her works of fiction include the award-winning Contrary Warriors series, romances Don’t Let Go and Stay With Me, plus the forthcoming Queen of Hearts, and Cause and Affection all from publisher Bella Books. She is currently working on something extraordinary, the lessons learned in the time between this life and the next delivered during her Near-death Experience. Her working title is Purpose Like Air.

Sheryl can be reached at or visit:




    • I wish you gave an example of how you landed in one name. The machine name thing often creates a glitch for me as well.


  1. Your post is a great reminder for readers just how much goes into creating a character and breathing life into them.
    I have my fingers crossed for the draw especially since your book was on my wish list before I read this post. 🙂
    *tosses name into the draw hat*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to think naming women with traditionally male names was unlikely. What mother is going to name her daughter one of those very masculine names that some authors give their butch characters? That was before I met a woman named Clarence last month while admitting her to take an exam during which I have to check IDs and another named Tyler (not Taylor) yesterday. Tellingly, I have not met any men with traditionally feminine names.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheryl, enjoyed the Contrary Warriors series. Don’t Let Go and Stay With Me were awesome. Looking forward to reading your next one so please count me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Sheryl. Thanks for sharing your process. I don’t think most people who read books realize how much thought goes into naming a character. Not to mention building a whole personality and history to go along with that name. I think it is an amazing gift to be able to create a person and bring them to life on the pages of a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That has been very helpful, I never thought about how a name can be the cherry on top of a great character.

    I hope you are having a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for offering a free e-book. Your books sound very interesting and I’m always please to discover a new lesfic author,


  7. Good luck with the new book. Names evoke so much and give me a good mental image of how I visualise the character! Cheers.


  8. Very interesting post, thank you. All the more so for me as in France (where I’m from), the name for the Queen of Hearts on playing cards is Judith, which is my name too 😉


  9. When I started writing, I began paying closer attention to names when I met new people or even when I saw names in writing. i.e. name tags, billboards, articles, etc. I started “collecting” unique names and now have a list on an app on my phone. When I am writing, I often refer to the list. Sometimes a name from the list “fits” a character, occasionally it doesn’t. Names are an important part of the character. I think it provides our first mental picture of the character in our minds.


  10. The name of the main characters are very important since those names are repeated several times throughout the book. There was one book that I didn’t really care for the name and the more I had to read it the more annoyed I got.


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