Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guest Blogger Catriana Sommers

Good morning and please welcome Catriana Sommers today! She's going to talk to us a little bit about names, and tell us about her newest release. Catriana, make yourself at home, and go ahead and start talking, while I pour the coffee, why don't you?

What's in a Name?

I've been asked a few times over the years where I come up with the names for some of my characters, because most of the time I use rare, obscure names. Do they have any meaning, or do I just randomly make them up? Did anything in particular inspire me to name them?

The answer is 'all of the above'.

Which method I use, however, depends. For anything fantasy, I usually try my best to make up the names, or go with whatever feels natural. In my novel Destined, Naliel Liunos' name came about very randomly while I was working on the main novel in The Arcanus Series. In that same novel, Sarnaiel, his lover, was also randomly created. From there, Destined was born, along with many more characters whose names I invented. The object was to give them elven sounding names, although later I changed it up slightly and the story ended up with characters like Tyrnus and Briae.

When I have a more modern setting, I usually try to base my character's names on what race they are. For Call on Me, my Father's Day story, Salvatore Rizzo is Italian, so I went and looked up Italian first and last names. Darshan Lyang was a bit more tricky; he's of various nationalities. Lyang is a Korean surname, while Darshan is Indian in origin.

One story in particular where I went out of my way to give my characters specific names with meanings is my Sci-fi/Romance Centarian Chronicles. In the most recent installment of the prologue, Seer and Dreamer on the M/M blog It's Raining Men, the main character Konane, a pale skinned Centarian, blurts out awkwardly that his name means 'bright moonlight'. His caretaker, Dr. Sinha, purposefully gave him that name when he had been nothing but a number in a laboratory. Konane's name is Hawaiian in origin while his brother's name - Koray - is Turkish for 'ember moon'. Because of their very pale, almost silver appearance, I wanted them to have 'bright' names. 'Ember moon' has a different and specific meaning, Koray can control fire.

How do you name your characters? Is it random or do you go with anything specific? Sometimes, a character simply needs to have a specific name, one where the moment you hear it, you're like "That's it! That's the one!" If nothing else, if you struggle with naming your characters, maybe you could try looking some up as I do. There are so many different ways to find names for your characters, I find the search to be rather fun and engaging!

Catriana, tell us a little bit about your new release, if you would?

Blurb: Cynthia felt the time had come to tell the young boy the truth of his name, and of the fateful day  of his birth. Time to tell the story of her beloved Olivia, a beautiful and vibrant woman full of love and happiness. Friend, lover, wife, savior - she would have been a great mother had she survived. So, Cynthia pulls her little boy onto her lap and recalls the day ten years ago; of Cynthia's pain, Olivia's parting words, and a baby's powerful will to live despite his small and frail body. Today, the boy will learn why Mother's Day means so much to Cynthia.

A short story from Untreed Reads's Nibs literary line.

Excerpt: “Come here, I have a story for you.” Smiling, Cynthia motioned for her son to join her on the couch. Her arm wrapped around his little shoulders as she pulled him closer, planting a kiss on his forehead. Wide hazel eyes—so much like hers—blinked up with childlike curiosity, a smile perking up the corners of his lips.

Today Cynthia would finally tell her son about his mother and her wife, Olivia. Cynthia’s chocolate-colored eyes closed briefly, recalling soft throaty laughter and gentle touches. Even now, if she delved deep enough into her memories, she could smell Olivia’s spicy scent of cinnamon and cloves. As Cynthia recalled those beautiful years, she threaded her thick fingers through her child’s golden brown curls. The ten-year-old leaned against her while his little arms moved around her full middle in a comforting hug. Neither exchanged words, but a comfortable silence filled the room. The boy snuggled closer as if he sensed her melancholy and wanted to provide comfort.

So much like Olivia. All the more reason to love him with all of her being.

* * *

The hospital room quickly became flooded with organized chaos. Flashes of white, pale green and blue danced across Cynthia’s vision. The world moved in slow motion for Cynthia, and had ever since Olivia smiled her smile, the one that said it’s going to be all right.

Olivia only smiled like that when she lied.

“Ma’am. Ma’am, we’re going to have to ask you to leave the room now. Ma’am?”

The nurse’s words fell on deaf ears. All Cynthia could focus on was Olivia, her beautiful girl who had taken her from Hell and showed her Heaven. She was the same woman who had been there when Cynthia had finally come out and who had remained to guide her to bed when she had finally confessed her feelings.

They had known the risks when Olivia first brought up having a baby. Cynthia had protested the idea from the start, due to her love’s heart condition. “The risks aren’t high,” the doctors had said “but we still have to consider her a high-risk pregnancy. As long as Olivia takes care of herself, she should be fine.”

Liars. She’s dying. She’s dying and I can’t…oh God, Olivia don’t leave me, please! Don’t leave me like this!

Something gripped her arm. A hand. “Ma’am, please. We’re going to have to ask you to leave. The doctors need to…”

Cynthia choked back a sob as she heard the heart monitor beep erratically. Her hand flew to her mouth and bile rose up in her throat. The doctors said Olivia would be fine, so why were things going so horribly wrong? Did the doctors lie to them about Olivia’s health and chances of a successful pregnancy? If they did, she would sue every last one of them if Olivia died.

No, she’s not going to die. She’s not going to leave me. I need her. I love her. It should be me on that bed!

Catriana, tell us where we can find you on the web?

Where to find me:    
My Website: http://www.catriana.net
My Blog: http://catrianasmuse.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Catriana_S
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/catriana
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/catriana.sommers
Silver Publishing (Call on Me, Destined): http://www.silverpublishing.info

Your blurb brought a tear to my eye, and probably some of the readers, too. Have a comment or question for Catriana? Ask away! A moment you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it!

Thanks for stopping by, Catriana, let me pour us some more coffee and we can keep chatting while we wait to hear from the readers!

♥ Julie

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