I am thrilled to Welcome Dawn Eastman here today!!
What’s in a name?
Thank you, Lori, for inviting me to Cozy Wednesday! I’m glad to be here.
My debut novel, Pall in the Family, was released on August 6. Because I use my maiden name as my pen name, I get a lot of questions about why I chose to use something other than my “real” name. The short answer is that my married name is hard to spell and pronounce. But the questions got me thinking about names, and how they are chosen.
When I was eight years old, I wanted a different first name. Dawn was too simple and too plain for me. I wanted something substantial like Samantha or Alexandra. Something with more syllables. However, I planned to shorten the name to Sam or Alex as a nickname. There’s no nickname for Dawn. It’s probably the same desire to pretend to be a fireman or a princess. What would life be like with a different name?
Now that I am a writer, I get to be all sorts of people with different names – at least in my head. I can be a pet psychic who longs for adventure when I blog as Violet Greer. I have adventures and live in a lovely small town when I write as Clyde.
Reflecting my childhood name-changing desires, many of my characters have changed their own names. Clytemnestra Fortune shortened her name to Clyde, much to her mother’s dismay. Mac McKenzie is actually named Phillip McKenzie. And Clyde’s sister married a man named Proffit after she discovered her talent for predicting the stock market.
Then there’s Diana. A few years ago, when I was working on Pall in the Family, a writer friend sent me a link to a website where you can enter your name (or any phrase) and it will kick out an anagram. Since there’s nothing a writer likes more than a distraction that can be called “work,” I quickly clicked on the link. (Try it for yourself here: http://www.arrak.fi/en/ag – I’ll wait) My married name produced a whole list, but one of them jumped out at me: Diana Moonward.
I loved the way it tied the name Diana to the moon, since Diana is the moon goddess. Moonward, as if she is leaning toward the moon. At the time, Clyde didn’t have a best friend who was a Wiccan and owned a witch supply store. But what else would a person name Diana Moonward do?
One of my favorite authors is JK Rowling. The names she uses in her Harry Potter series are so fantastic and they are like a little treasure hunt. Sirius is the dog star and her character Sirius Black changes into a large black dog. If someone is lupine, they are wolf-like and Professor Lupin turns into a werewolf. Luna Lovegood is a little on the crazy side but loyal to her friends.
What do you think? Do you notice character names and look for deeper meanings? Do you have any favorite character names? Are you happy with your name, or do you wish for something different? I’d love to discuss it in the comments!
O.K. Dawn, that site is addicting, :p
My married last name produced
slew lac lews lac well sac well sac sell caw cell was cell saw calls we call sew This one jumped out at me. Before my accident I loved to sew!! Result: First and Last name produced: scowler lila willer coals carlisle low closer willa recoil walls swiller cola wile collars solacer will slier callow collier slaw swiller coal rowel scilla oracles will lollies craw collier laws wiles collar rowel lilacs oracles will allelic rows collier laws lewis collar rowel lilacs rallies cowl oracle wills collier awls slower lilac orwell salic recoils wall oracle swill collier awls roswell laic lower scilla slicer allow coaler wills relic sallow lowers lilac lower lilacs relics allow coaler swill relic allows waller coils lower lilacs relics allow locale swirl cello aswirl willer socal carlisle owl cresol willa recoil walls rollie claws None of these struck me but I do love lilacs. Result: Dollycas Produced: scylla do slay clod as coldly sold clay scaly old sally doc codys all sold acyl clays old sally cod scold lay dolls cay clays old lays cold colds lay dolls cay scald loy lays clod clods lay sac lloyd days coll clods lay sac dolly days coll cods ally sadly col lads cloy solly cad ladys col sad colly sly acold slay cold ads colly sold lacy Nothing here better than Dollycas~ _______________________ Back to business!! Dawn, THANK YOU! I hope you will come back soon and often!!
About Dawn Eastman
Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog. Pall in the Family is her first novel.
Pall in the Family
(A Family Fortune Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 6, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig – AWESOME COVER!!
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 662 KB
The aptly named Crystal Haven is the destination for tourists seeking psychics, séances, and the promise of contacting the spirit world. In this small western Michigan town, everyone knows the Fortune family. Rose is gifted with tarot card readings. Her sister, Vi, is a self-proclaimed pet psychic. And Rose’s daughter Clyde is …
A cop. She has returned home from Ann Arbor on a “leave of absence”. No one really knows the whole story. Her mom and aunt think she has come home because she is ready to join the family business and use her psychic gift. Clyde would just like to relax and reflectand is happy walking some of her Aunt Vi’s clients and spending time with her nephew Seth. But when a local psychic ends up dead Clyde finds herself right in the middle of the investigation and when the killer thinks she may “know” more than it seems her own life is danger. Her trip home is definitely not a good fortune.
Clytemnestra, oh what a name, (Clyde) is quite a character! Trying to remain “normal” in a family of psychics is tough. It has already cost her one romantic relationship and maybe her job, but she is trying to hold it all together in a town where she is definitely in the minority. Crystal Haven is known for its psychics and is a major tourist destination for that reason.
She wants to let the police handle the investigation but her family wants her to “help””. Her father doesn’t have any “gifts” but he has his police scanner handy and will do almost anything Rose tells him to do. The way he deals with the women in his family just cracked me up. Clyde, Rose, Vi and even Seth are all using crystals, pendulums, and following suspects around town to try and catch the killer. Hilarity ensues!!
From the first pages when a bat is chased around the house and out an open window until the last page when a question asked long ago is answered, this book will have you fully engaged and captivated. I would classify this as paranormal light. You don’t need to believe to enjoy this story but you may believe a little by the end.
This is the author’s first novel and she has created a divine cozy. I don’t need a fortune teller to know this series has a promising future.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have my review to give away
Plus the author is giving away a copy!!!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Dawn for 5 Bonus Entries !
What do you think?
Do you notice character names and look for deeper meanings?
Do you have any favorite character names? A
re you happy with your name, or do you wish for something different?
I’d love to discuss it in the comments!
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End September 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Dawn Eastman (Giveaway too!)”
I don’t usually pay that much attention to character names other than to keep track of who’s who.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep track, isn’t it? “They” tell writers to be careful not to name characters with the same letter, or with rhyming sounds. I do find that sometimes in an early draft I’ll have five people with G names or T names. It’s like my brain gets stuck in a rut!
This book sounds like a hoot! The names in the Harry potter books were the best , I loved that series too.
Thank you! There were so many great names in HP – just another example of JK Rowling’s incredibly detailed imagination.
I don’t look for any deep meaning in character names. I do have a funny story about my initials. Before I got married my initials spelled EAT. When I was in high school it was very popular to have your initials put on your clothes. Could you just see me walking down the hall with EAT written across the back pocket of my jeans!!! I DON”T THINK SO!!!!!
That is a great story! My initials now are DAM. I wouldn’t put that on a pocket either.
I always wanted to change my name when I was a child. No one had a name like Deanna and no one pronounced it correctly. I grew into it though.
Deanna is a great name – I’m glad you like it now.
Great interview. will have to check out that site.
Thank you! Enjoy the site but beware its addictive properties…
I do love a good character name as well, and I think those ya/kids writers may have a bit more latitude in setting up unusual names than say, a writer of literary fiction. I will be bookmarking that anagram site–how fun! My real name doesn’t come up with very many choices (only six!) but I think Jill Donahue would be a great pseudonym or character name for me! I don’t mind my real name–it was a good choice and seems to be aging nicely with me!
Congrats on the debut, will be looking forward to reading it!
I think you are right. Certain genres are more tolerant of unusual names. Glad you liked the link – you have to be careful not to lose too much time there!
I do think the characters name can mean something. I like the heroine’s name to be long. (Catherine, not Cathy)
I like my name. My mother only had one name and she gave it to me as my middle name, I gave it to my daughter as her middle namd and she gave it to her daughter as her midddle name.
My middle name is my mother’s name as well. I think it goes back a few generations that way.
I don’t really pay much attention to character names unless they are weird (of course none come to mind right now). I’m not a very attentive reader. When I read Moby Dick in college, I was stunned in class to hear about all the elements affiliated with death like Mr. Coffin. I just don’t think that way.
I would have liked a more unusual name when I was a kid, but the solid, basic Anne does suit me.
Moby Dick was a really tough read for me. I felt the same way you did. It was almost like the whole thing was more of a puzzle than a story.
A character’s name can sometime be indicative of their nature. So I do look at the names of the people in a book. I love seeing if the name an author chooses suits the actor in the story.
I agree, and it’s so personal as well. My idea of exotic might be someone else’s idea of old fashioned or boring. But some characters seem to embody their name – they just couldn’t be anything else.
Great review, sounds like a good read.
I enjoy learning about character’s names since they are important to me and meaningful.
I enjoy it, too. Especially if someone points it out and then a whole other aspect of the story falls into place.
Character’s names have been interesting and should contribute to the story since it adds depth.
I agree. Sometimes it’s not the meaning, but just the way the name sounds that adds depth. I think Dickens had some great-sounding names.
I just try to figure out how to pronounce the strange names in books, not what they might mean. I’ve always liked my name as is. My sister used to call me Lynn or Lynnie but no one has done that since she died. My son decided for awhile when he was young to go by his middle name. I felt he should respect the name I chose for him. He went back to his given name within a week or two.
I agree about the pronunciation. Sometimes it’s not until I hear an audio book version that I know how to say the name!
I always look for deeper meaning in character names because some are like little Easter eggs. As for my own name, I always liked it because I was the only “Beck” in the family. (Long story regarding my birth certificate, but anywho…) My boyfriend wants me to change it when we get married, but we’ll see.
Also, that website is addictive. My name is fairly boring on there – I got “leaky back” and “balky cake”. 😀
I love the idea of the Easter eggs. The best ones don’t change the story if you miss it, but add so much if you find it.
Glad you liked the link.
When I was a child, I did not like my first and middle name (Barbara Lynn). I kept asking Mom why did you name me this. She kept saying because I liked it. I think one reason I wasn’t fond of it, Mom was the youngest of eleven children and I am her youngest. Majority of her older siblings didn’t call me Barbara, but Barbara Lynn. Now, all of my older cousins call me Barbara Lynn and I’ve noticed some of their children also calling me by that name. I found out a few years ago when one of my uncle’s died. They had a brother that died at a toddler age and they always called him Little Buddy. This uncle and Little Buddy were close. Mom had Little Buddy’s best outfit that Grandma wanted saved. Mom ask me would it be okay to bury those clothes now with my uncle and of course I said sure. You see I found out Little Buddy’s real name was Herschel Lynn. I really love my name!!!
That’s a great story! So many connections there, and it was a nice way to honor Herschel Lynn.
I agree that Rowling had some great names, I noticed the same thing about Sirius. Normally though I don’t notice the names except to think I really like or dislike them. As for my name I didn’t like it when I was young, there were 3 of us in my class and it got a little confusing sometimes, however we did learn to work it that if a Debbie was called on for an answer whoever knew it would yell it out to save the other 2. Now I’ve learned to live with it after 50+ years, LOL.
I’ve heard that from a lot of people, that they didn’t like being one-of-many in their class. I’ve never heard of a “team” approach before, though! Love it. You Debbies were maybe a little too clever for your teacher.
When I was younger I hated my name. I thought it was so old fashioned. But now it’s become somewhat popular again. I even see it popping up as character’s names in books now. And I get a kick out of reading about a main character with my name.
My daughter’s name is Ellie, so you can imagine how much I love it! I never thought of it as old fashioned, but I think it was popular a couple of generations ago. It’s definitely making a comeback as I know quite a few Ellies now.
I sometimes notice names but I do love the names in Harry Potter too 🙂
Thanks for sharing the website. I didn’t get anything I really liked but it was still interesting to see.
As a child, I always wanted a different name. Ashley is like the most common name ever. I could probably think of a couple dozen people I know just off the top of my head.
I always wanted a name with a nickname like most of friends had. I named all my kids with names that had a nickname – which they all prefer!
Totally agree. Always wanted a nickname and was very careful to pick names for my kids that allowed for nicknames.
I really enjoy your Work!
This is an interesting title, but sounds like a good cozy.
Since I am a character in Duffy Brown’s Pearls and Poison, I could pick my own name. But I would love to use Aurora as a character name.
Which character are you? A new one or recurring? I love the name Aurora, although I’ve been steeped in princess culture long enough that I can’t help but see a blond in a pink dress…
I think my name is easy to say but you would not believe how many people say it wrong most commonly they take off the a on the end. I support giving children easy to spell and pronounce names.
I don’t normally pay attention to the characters names unless it’s really out of the ordinary. This sounds like a fun read!
Congratulations on the publication of Pall in the Family! It sounds like a fascinating book and the cover is lovely. I do notice character names, especially if they are unusual or related to mythology. One of my favorite names is Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series.
I guess I’m not that into the character names — I accept it on face value and never think anything else. Maybe if it is a very unusual name, or seems way out in left field, I might notice and think about the name more.
I was named for my father (Donna for Donald) and my mother (Eileen is Mother’s middle name) and so for the most part I have been happy with my name. There were two other Donnas in my same grade in elementary & jr high school years, and the same two again in college. I did try to use my middle name for a short while, but would forget to answer the roll call. 🙂 I don’t remember ever having a nickname from my name; my sister’s name is Sammy, but we call her ‘Sam’.
I don’t guess I have a favorite name — for a character, or for real life. There are some pretty ones out there, also some rather strange ones.
I only pay attention to character names if they are unusual—then I try to figure out why.
My name is a little different and I always liked that.
My married name is Killgore. I kept it afer the divorce. I was a paramedic and most people spell it with one L. I loved to tell people it’s Kill gore. LOL
Love that name! Just imagine the kinds of characters that might have that name.
Honestly I notice character names, but I don’t really look into them for deeper meanings unless it is something I know about the author. I like my name. My married name is Kelly Blackwell. One of the reasons I like it is I got it from my wonderful husband AND it boosted me in the alphabet (my maiden name is Slater). I was never happy with the name Kelly, but that is because no child likes a name that rhymes with smelly. At this point in my life, I am cool with first and last. I just needed to grow up a bit.
Sometimes I do notice character names, and other times I don’t even know my kids names.lol I am looking forward to reading this book, it is definitely going on my tbr list.
Character names are a big part of the story experience for me. I don’t usually look for deeper meaning to a name unless it’s something obvious.
Mu initials are IAM. If I were philosophical, I might put that on a t-shirt. As far as character names, certain names just don’t seem suitable for certain types. I’m not sure if I could really take a hunk named Irwin seriously or actually envision a Matilda as a gorgeous, kick-ass heroine.
I like character’s names to be easy to remember so I can mention the book to others.
If a story has interesting sounding character names, that just makes the story even more fun to read! I like the author’s post about wanting to change her name. Sounds like a great read!
I would love to read this book.
i dont really notice character names.sounds like a great book.love the cover with the dog in the mailbox its really cute
I would like to pick up this book.
My initials are BDB…if I didn’t print carefully, it always looked like BOB. That annoyed me all through school. Getting married solved the problem ; p
The book sounds great…
I do notice character names. There are a couple names that have been associated with people in my life – some good some bad. There’s one name that I always notice since all the …..’s I’ve met were just infuriating. Then there are some names it seems like always are nice people. I wonder if research has said anything about whether our names influence our personalities.
needed a new book for my collection … thanks
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