I’m bad at naming my characters. Like really bad. Like so bad that you should replace my name with Leroy Brown and there should be songs as an homage to how bad I am.
And so as a result, I use people in my life. In Soul Stripper, Monica’s last name (Lamb) is named after my best friend from undergrad. In my soon to be released book, Healing You (A Maple Grove Romance, #2), the main character is Yvonne Sarzacki… named after my veterinarian, Yvonne Szacki. And in Wicked Exposure, Cassandra is named after our realtor who sold us our house in Portland and the detective’s name Sam McCloskey is named after a guy I used to date. Although I use the word “date” very loosely. And please note, I always alter the names slightly. He and I had kept in touch for a while, but a few years ago he disappeared off social media. I basically forgot about him until I was writing Wicked Exposure, trying to name my hero. That’s when his name popped into my head. I always liked his name. And it fit the character. And since I hadn’t seen or heard of him in years, I figured, what harm could this do? A couple of months before Wicked Shots came out, this guy (we’ll call him Sam even though that’s not his real name) popped up on social media once more. All of a sudden, there was his smiling face on LinkedIn. And Twitter. And Instagram. I sent him a friendly hello, excited to see a familiar face and even more happy to see he has a beautiful fiance and a gorgeous daughter. We chatted, caught up, did the perfunctory follows of each other and then I thought little else about it.
Fast forward two months to the release of Wicked Exposure. All of a sudden, I’m posting teasers and covers and images, etc. Within these teasers, I have dialogue and Sam McCloskey’s name featured in them. As I noticed his name pop up as liking one of my posts, I froze. HOLY MOTHER LOVING GOD. It hadn’t occurred to me, not once, that he would see anything within my writing. It doubly didn’t occur to me that he would ever discover his own name featured in my (very erotic) books.
Let me tell you… I nearly face palmed myself into a coma. So, SAM, if you’re reading this… please hear me when I say, I’m not harboring silent feelings about you and waiting for the day that we will both leave our spouses and be together.
I’m not in love with you… I’m just really freaking bad at naming my characters.