This saturday there won’t be a non-book content post, but a blog tour post. I had this one already scheduled before I started the non-book content posts on saturda.
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Forget Me Not, the first book in the Collective series by Stacey Nash, There is some information about the book, an excerpt, an awesome guest post by Stacey Nash about how she came up with the names for her characters and a tour wide giveaway!
Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. When the brooch and the pendant are worn together they’re no longer pretty pieces of jewelry — they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewelry’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device — and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she’s Enemy Number One.
She’s forced to leave her father behind when she’s taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends’ lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.
You can add Forget Me Not to your to-read list on Goodreads
The Collective. That’s what Al said, too. I glance at Will sideways. His mouth hangs slightly open, his eyes wide. He looks as astonished as I feel. Beau’s gaze shifts beyond me, and his face lights up in a smile. When I look over my shoulder, I see Bertie standing in the doorway, waving. She smiles and continues past the room; obviously she and Al are well known around here.
“When tech is used, an alarm is activated, alerting The Collective,” Beau continues. “If the use is unauthorized, they send a scout to appropriate the tech and contain any knowledge of its existence.”
The man in the East Coast Gas uniform, he must have been a scout.
“What do you mean?” Will asks.
Beau rubs his forehead. “Technology, tools, machines, items which perform a specific function. Some tech is common, like cellphones, computers, and satellite tracking, but other tech is not known or used at all. The Collective works hard to keep its knowledge hidden from the general population.”
I shake my head. “I should have known it wasn’t magic.”
The blue flower on the pendant made me appear invisible. Not magic, but technology. My hand still clutches it protectively. How does it work? It has to be some trick with light. I’ve always hated science; I spend most of class daydreaming of being outside with Will and my camera, soaking up his contagious happiness.
Beau’s voice breaks my thoughts. “We also have an alarm. We use it to intercept Collective agents and stop them from harming innocent people. The radar pinpoints the location of the use of tech.”
The boy, the one in the leather jacket. My gaze darts back to the window and the tree branches reaching over the lawn, but I can’t see him. He must have been sent to intercept the gas man.
“This is a safe house. The Collective can’t reach it. You’ll have to stay here while we secure your safety,” Beau says.
“A safe house?” Will asks.
My mind spins again. It’s doing a lot of that this afternoon. There’s so much to take in. This morning we played a dumb game, and now we’re here in the middle of ‘great danger’.
“There are several of them across the country, and each house has a number of people. We will give you assistance.”
My mind whirls. Scouts, collective, safe houses. It’s too much to take in. I move toward an armchair identical to Beau’s, place my hands on its soft, well-worn arms, and sink into it.
“I can’t stay here. My dad, I need to go home to him,” I say. “After Mom, he won’t cope if I disappear, too. He — he needs me. He doesn’t even have his mother anymore.” I hang my head in my hands, twining my fingers into my hair. He’s balanced so close to the edge of despair, and I won’t push him over.
“They’re relentless. They won’t give up until they find you,” Al says. He’s still here. I’d almost forgotten him. “It’s not safe. You can’t outrun them forever. Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on your old man.”
Will’s already rigid stance stiffens further. “What do you mean ‘not safe’?”
“Mae is a threat to the secret knowledge of advanced technology,” Al says, “and The Collective eliminates their threats.”
For some reason I am really interested by how authors come up with the names of their characters, so I asked Stacey for a guest post about how she came up with the names for the characters in Forget Me Not.
How the Forget Me Not crew came by their names
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…
You know, I think Shakespeare had it dead right in this quote from Romeo and Juliet. I couldn’t think of my characters with any other name than those they have now. I think if I had of given them different names, they wouldn’t have the same personalities and traits. Naming them wasn’t always easy or a conscious choice either. My method for naming characters is a little haphazard and different for each character. I had characters who named themselves, characters whose names were supposed to come later and characters whose names I put a lot of thought into.
There are four major characters in Forget Me Not and each of them were named using a different method.
Anamae or Mae as she’s known by her close friends was the hardest character to name in the entire book. She’s the main character and I knew I wanted her name to be Mae before I started writing, but I also knew that I wanted it to be a shortened version of her name. Because when the story starts she’s sweet, lonely, and a little bit innocent, so I wanted a name that represented that. But Mae is more indicative of the person she is toward the end of the story; strong, independent, and certain. I spent a lot of time searching for a name that was the right fit and I never found one. Then one night my hubby was getting his fix of Japanese cartoons, AKA Anime, and Anamae was born.
Will: It’s funny; this strong, protective, lovable boy next door was never meant to be called Will. When I first wrote the story I researched names on baby naming sites and there was nothing I liked. Nothing that jumped out and said this! This is his name. Possibly it was so hard because he already had a fully developed personality. Frustrated at not finding his name, I just used the name Will as a placeholder while I wrote the story. I’m not sure how it even became a place holder, I just wrote and the name Will appeared on my screen. When I reached the end of the story and went back to revise it, I just couldn’t change his name. He was Will now and I couldn’t think of him as anything else.
Jax: As a character Jax is a bit of a conundrum. I knew he was coming, he, Will and Anamae were all fully formed characters before I started writing. I had explored their personalities and knew who they were, but I didn’t stop and actually name Jax until I reached the point where we find out his name. I knew he needed a strong name and I wanted a short name that was only one or two syllables, so off to the baby naming sites I went. The second I saw it, I knew that was his name.
Lilly: She’s another character who showed up in the story fully formed. She bounded into her first scene with a vibrant personality and introduced herself to Anamae straight up with a “Hi, I’m Lilly.” I don’t know where the name came from, but there was no way it could change.
Some of the older characters were a little more tricky and none of them came into the story already named like my younger, main characters did. For these characters I used baby naming sites and searched for popular names in the year and region the character was born. Mae’s dad is named Richard because he’s in his late thirties and Richard was a popular name in America during the late 70s / early 80s.
So I guess overall it can be said that my character all came by their names differently.
A huge thanks to Lola for having me on her blog today, and to you guys for reading.
About the Author:
Stacey grew up in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. It is an area nestled between mountains and vineyards. Full of history and culture, it provides wonderful writing inspiration. After dabbling with poetry during her teen years, Stacey stopped writing until after university when she was married with young children. Now she loves nothing more than spending her days with her children and writing when inspiration strikes.