It’s all about the Name…

As a writer, one of the hardest things I have to do is to decide on the right names for my characters.  It has to look right in print, sound right on the lips and feel right in my heart.  It can take time to pick the best one, and often I find myself changing it as I start to get into the story.  And then there is the decision on if I should give my characters a nickname…

Nicknames are often used as a sign of love between friends and family and often the only make sense to a select few that are part of that inner circle. The most common nicknames are shorting of your full name, or maybe a combination of your initial’s (JJ, DJ). Or maybe it’s an endearing name like Sweetie or Honey.
Whatever the name, once you have it; it’s yours for life. Have you every run across a grown man who tops 6′ and is called “Tiny”? Oh you many move away and start a new life, change your whole persona, and forget all about it. But the minute you go home, or meet someone from home-out comes that name and you are thrown back in time.
Since most of us receive our nick names from our loved ones, we embrace the feeling of belonging that it gives us, or at the least we “grin and bare it”. That name is a connection between people, special, even if it is just between two souls.
My nickname when I was little came from Grandpa. My grandfather was a quiet man, always with a pipe in hand and a smile on his face. His humor was simple and often took you by surprise because it was so often right on the mark. Except for this nickname-I just never quite got it! My mom actually had the name before me, I just became number 2.

And the name you ask? TERMITE. (I am Termite 2).

When I asked my Grandpa about it, he would just smile and say “A termite gets into everything.” That’s all there was to it, and it made sense to him. It’s been years since he died, and with his passing, my nickname became silent. It just never sounded the same coming from anyone else.

So, I ask you, is your nickname as special as mine?

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It’s Not Just About Hearts & Flowers

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Valentines Day brings to mind romance: beautiful bouquets of flowers, heartfelt love letters, heart shaped boxes of chocolate candies, romantic get-a-ways…

But as a mystery writer, my mind goes in other directions.  MURDER. And what is the underlining factor in many murders-LOVE! (Oh, don’t get me wrong: I love the romance too and a box of chocolate just makes my day!)

I took three simple words and mixed them up to make 3 sub genres in the mystery category on Amazon Kindle Books and here is what I found:

Valentine Murder Mystery : 93 books are available

Valentine Murder: 321 books are available

Valentine Mystery: 300 books are available

It’s nice to know that I’m not the only writer thinking along these lines.  These books ranged from children’s mysteries to romance & cozy mysteries to outright blood thirsty murder thrillers. Personally, I tend to read and write in the cozy mystery range.

Think about it: passions are running high and something goes wrong.  Before you know it an act of violence has taken place.  OR…The night is set for romance and it’s the opportunity to carry out the plan for the perfect murder.  Will it be poison in the wine or a push off the ledge during a romantic walk?

So, now that I have planted these thoughts of mystery and murder, I wish you a normal & romantic Valentines Day!