It is always a lot of fun when Sofie Kelly drops by!!
What’s in a Name?
By Sofie Kelly
I steal people’s names. No, I’m not some kind of identity thief who is going to take out five credit cards in your name and order every single product advertised on late-night TV. But if I like your name, it may end up in one of my books.
I’ve always had an affinity for names. As a teenager I wanted to be named Jennifer. That’s because in my mind girls named Jennifer had long, flowing hair, kind of like Susan Dey of The Partridge Family. I did not have long, flowing hair. (Yes, I know Susan Dey was not named Jennifer. My teenage logic was not necessarily logical.)
For me, names often have identities attached to them. Sometimes when I name a character I also give him or her some of the qualities of the real person with that name. For instance Idris, a name I used for a dead character in the Magical Cats mysteries, came from a tombstone. The real Idris outlived two wives and buried them side-by-side in a double plot. I began to imagine what he might have been like. Practical, obviously. He didn’t buy a new plot or a new headstone when his second wife died. He used what he had. Not overly sentimental, either, I decided, because otherwise I don’t think he would have left his two wives to rest side-by-side for eternity. When I created the fictional Idris, I gave him the qualities I imagined for the real man.
Hercules, always makes me think of actor Kevin Sorbo, from the campy Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. So when I gave that name to one of the Magical Cats, I also said that’s who he was named for. The fact that Sorbo was born and raised in Minnesota, the state where the Magical Cats mysteries are set, just felt like a sign that Hercules the cat had the right name.
On the other hand, there is a real Marcus, but the only thing the fictional Marcus and the real Marcus share is their name. The real Marcus is a talented artist and teacher with a funky style and a great sense of humor. The fictional Marcus is a lot more serious and stiff.
Because a lot of names carry their own baggage with them, sometimes I don’t use a name I like. In a recent manuscript I named a con artist, Peter. And realized my mistake almost immediately. My friend, Peter, is kind and gentle and far more likely to give you the shirt off his back than try to scam you out of yours.
It’s not just associations that make me like a name, though. Sometimes it’s just the way the name sounds. Case in point: Benjarvus Green-Ellis. (He’s a running back for the Cinncinnati Bengals.) I just like the sound of his name when I say it. I like his nickname too: The Law Firm. Both are probably a bit too distinctive to use in a book, though. Then there’s Siobhan. It’s Irish. I love that the name looks one way and sounds another. And not only do I like Ogden Nash’s name, I like his poetry too. They’re both a little quirky.
Are there any names that have a particular association for you? Or maybe your name is one I’d like to add to my “collection.” Please share.
A Magical Cats Mystery
5th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (October 1, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 1121 KB
Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson gets plenty of entertainment from her extraordinary cats, Owen and Hercules. But when a theatre troupe stumbles into more tragedy than it bargained for, it’s up to Kathleen to play detective….
Marcus has decided to call it quits with Kathleen just because she can’t keep her nose out of his investigations at the exact same time as her ex Andrew shows up in town to try to get her to move back home to Boston and give their relationship another chance.
Mayville Heights also has become the location for a theater festival when their original place runs into to a few snags. This brings all types of drama to this wonderful town both on stage and off. When Kathleen finds director Hugh Davis shot to death at the marina the air starts to fill with talk of fraud and blackmail.
Kathleen again is in the middle of another of Marcus’s investigations and so is someone else he cares about. With a little help from her magical felines Kathleen may just solve another mystery.
Kathleen has her hands full in this one and I loved it!!
You could cut the romantic tension with a knife. Forced to see each other because of the murder, Marcus and Kathleen just don’t know how to relate to each other. Add Andrew to the mix trying to show Kathleen he has changed but trying to impress her new friends as well and you have a soap opera worthy romantic triangle. Then add a dead body! Viola! Awesome Cozy Mystery!!
This entire series has been well written and had terrific characters and each book is better than the one before. I love the “catversations” with Owen and Hercules and their different attitudes and little rituals. It is also time for Kathleen to make the huge decision. Does she stay or does she go back to Boston? No spoilers here. You will have to read the story yourself.
Find out more about Sofie Kelly and her books here.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”