“To say the name is to begin the story.”

“To say the name is to begin the story.” ~ A Swampy Cree Indian saying.

I need your help in deciding upon my heroine’s full name, so that I may begin my story.

I’ve been fleshing out my characters today by typing in my Character Sketch forms. It’s been pretty quick since I’ve been making notes about them for a couple of weeks now. But some of them have been nameless until today.

Let me start with a name that I’m sure of – the hero. The main character of the series is Jude Costantino. He was born in Boston, a first generation American son of Italian immigrants.Β  Raised as a good Catholic, he dutifully became a soldier in the new Holy War. Through the conflicts he’ll face in this series, he will come to identify with St. Jude – the patron saint he’s named for.

Let’s move on the heroine.

I’ve known her nickname since I first started listening to her voice in my head – “The Duchess”. There’s a long story behind her nickname, but I’ll sum it up partly by saying that she’s very high up in an underground rebel force. Nicknames provide a certain layer of anonymity to protect them and their families.

Female-photographer-Canon-Bokeh-485x728But she still has a real name. Here’s what I know about her. She’s Asian American, born to a Japanese mother and American father who are both professors at a liberal arts college in Western Massachusetts. There’s more, but that’s for another day and not really relevant to creating the perfect character name. (The image attached is a great visual of what she looks like in my head.)

I was browsing through a lot of message boards and social media and finally came across a name that made my character get all excited. Kamiko, a nice and relatively popular Japanese girl name. So I looked up its meaning and knew my instinct was right. Kamiko means “senior, noble, empress”. Empress?? Wow…funny how similar that is to Duchess! I love when pieces like these fall into place naturally.

Now, I’m stuck on the last name. Here are the three that I’ve narrowed it down to:

1) Kamiko Jones – I love the contrast of an exotic name with a common one. (Kinda like “Lucy Liu”.)
2) Kamiko Croft – It has a nice mix of symmetry and intrigue, but maybe the intrigue is too reminiscent of Lara Croft???
3) Kamiko Cross – Has that nice symmetry again, and the word “cross” fits with the religious themes in the story line. But maybe it’s TOO close to the themes…too obvious. Hmmm??

Okay, what do you think? Any of these sound better than the others? I’m also open to alternative last names to consider.

Either way, I’m liking the way the first names sound together: Kami and Jude.


15 thoughts on ““To say the name is to begin the story.”

  1. Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, Alex Cross. I vote a new last name that doesn’t already have an iconic character associated with it. Bell? King? Trent?

    • Holy identity thief, Batwoman! No wonder those names had the right ring to them. I’ve seen all of those movies too. Guess a good name sticks with me. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the suggestions, although I’m not totally ready to give up on Jones just yet.

  2. I spent some time roaming through behindthename.com (which is good place to see the origin of surnames). Found a few more short last names that we can add to our list of possibilities:
    James (instead of Jones but has the same flow to it)


  3. Hahaha, surname hijack! Ok, I know that she already has a nickname but I like Kamiko with one of the “C” last names for KC. Canon has a nice explosive ring to it. It’s Medieval English but the fathers family could have migrated to America… Lol! Hope this helps!

  4. Ooooh, I like that one. I’m adding that one to my list of favs: Canon. I don’t mind an old English name. There are a lot of families in New England with old English surnames. In fact, one of the list of names that I looked at for possibilities was a list of the passengers on the Mayflower. (One of them is my ancestor, but I don’t remember which one. I’ll bet my sister Judy remembers. Now I need to go ask.)

  5. There’s so much to names. If you want to borrow a noble identity, why not go with one of the great houses of Europe? Perhaps her dad is descended from the Duke of Kent, though that’s Clark as well as Kammy. Right now I’m neck deep in Gaels and Manx, so nothing off the top of my head. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s