Today is my stop during the Otherborn blog tour. I share some information about the book and there is a guest post from the author about choosing character names. And there is a giveaway!
Otherborn (Otherborn, #1)
by Anna Silver
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: April 4, 2013
London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.
Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.
What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.
When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?
You can view the trailer here:
Choosing Character Names: OTHERBORN
How fun are character names? I have long coveted the job of naming streets. I don’t know whose job that is or how they get it, but I want it. So, when it comes to my characters, one of my favorite tasks is coming up with their names. And I am not a fan of the redundant. You won’t find any Jennifers or Johns in my books. Not that there is anything wrong with those names. But when you have a streetwise teen in a walled dystopian city by day who becomes an ethereal dream shaman from another world by night, Jennifer just doesn’t cut the mustard. It doesn’t scream DIFFERENT.
But however much I relish the idea of naming my characters, most of the time it’s a far less exacting job than I would hope. I don’t often make up endless lists or visit baby name sites on the internet. Especially for main characters. The truth is, it usually just comes to me— just gets whispered into the dark, cobwebby recesses of my mind in the character’s own voice. And I go with it. I don’t question them often. But there are a few exceptions. Sometimes I get to spend more time contemplating a minor character’s name and feel like I really decided, or even just had a say in the process. Which is nice. At least they leave me that much.
OTHERBORN is about a group of kids, but it’s really formed around London, who was the most critical character as I began to develop the novel. Her name was one of those fun exceptions to the whisper rule. I’d had this almost comical, dystopian/vampire idea floating in my brainspace for many years. And whenever I thought about it, I pictured it happening in a dank and dirty, punk-dystopian London. But there was one problem, aside from the fact that by the time I decided to write it vampires were being overdone and I’d been told paranormal humor was frowned upon in YA. The problem was that I’d never actually been to London. And to top it off, I loathe research. So setting any kind of novel in London was probably a poor idea. The whole concept ended up getting a complete overhaul, but in tribute to my original idea, I named the main character London.
The names of the rest of the Otherborn came about differently. I needed a short and sweet guy name for London’s love interest. But I wanted her world to feel different. Names go through popularity phases over the generations, and I thought it was important to support the setting with names that seemed pretty different from what you might hear today, but not so different that it took you out of the novel. So, a name like Ryan wouldn’t work, because it was just too today. But Rye was perfect. I’ve never met anyone named Rye and probably never will. They might be out there, but it’s not common by any stretch of the imagination. And yet it doesn’t sound so weird that you think you’re speaking a foreign language.
Zen was similar. A word that we’re familiar with, though not one we often associate with names. Kim was an easy choice for a character whose racial heritage was important to who he was and to the understanding of the setting. Avery was more normal. I wanted something that sounded particularly feminine, but not too dramatic. Tora needed to be even more unique, since she represented the Outroaders— those even farther outside the norm because they lived outside the city walls.
Most of these names just popped into my head. Sometimes while writing, other times while I was doing something else, like folding laundry, or lying in bed pretending I didn’t hear the alarm clock. But once I land on a character’s name, even if I go through a few lemons first, I know the search is over. That’s who they are. They know it. I know it. And now, my readers know it.
About the Author:
Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. She’s freelanced for private clients and small publications like the Hill Country Current. OTHERBORN, her first published novel, has been featured on 2 of Amazon’s “Bestsellers” lists. She is represented by Rebecca Podos and Nicole LaBombard of Rees Literary Agency.
And there is a giveaway 🙂
You can win an e-copy of Otherborn! Enter the giveaway below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway