Naming Fictional Characters

baby Name Books

I take naming my characters pretty seriously.  For my novel, “Red, White & Blues”, I wanted to have everyday names that could be easily related to by most everyone.  The names of my main characters, such as John Clark, Pete Clark, Sandy Porter, Sarah Somerton, Louise Sinclair, Edie McCabe-even Mike Blackhorse-were chosen specifically for their simplicity.  With characters that I wanted a little more impact, such as Morgan Stewart, the President of the fictional motorcycle club, “The Souls of Liberty”, I chose a stronger name, but still left it easy to remember.  For my “resident artist”, I chose Haven Hartford, a somewhat unusual name, but again, pretty easy to remember.  I wrote this book with the express idea that no matter what the situations are, it could be easy for everyone to relate to.  I also wrote my book using simple language, but that is a subject for another blog!  The main sources that I use for naming my characters (usually both first & last names) are two baby name books that I have had for years:  “Name Your Baby” by Lareina Rule and “The New Age Baby Name Book” by Sue Browder.  The latter is obviously for the more unusual or ethnic-inspired names.  When developing a new character, I nearly always know what they look like before I have their name, so I do take that image into consideration when I start searching for their name.  It’s fun to browse the books, looking for that perfect name to pop out at me!

Orange County is Preferable to Los Angeles

L.A. traffic

These days, staying behind what is sometimes affectionately referred to as the “Orange Curtain” isn’t such a bad thing. With Los Angeles ranking in as America’s second largest city (behind New York), it’s no wonder that traveling beyond the Orange County line is looking less and less desirable every year.

The traffic is Los Angeles County is notorious for gridlock, accidents, ill-timed roadwork and more. To get anywhere, commuters need to plan their “escape” well, taking in time of day (which seems to matter less and less), roadwork and conditions, weather and ultimate destination. Leaving early doesn’t help, nor does heading out on an “off day”. Most people just get into their cars or hop on their motorcycles and hope for the best while relying on radio reports, GPS, tips and traffic apps like WAZE.

We here in Orange County have it comparatively better. Of course there is still plenty of traffic, but it’s not nearly as mind-numbing as it is in our dear sister county to the north. Locals know that weekday mornings on the 405 are slow, but that’s because people are going to work. Likewise, the 55S will be backed up during the summer with beach-goers.
Usually, there is a specific reason for the traffic here in OC and because of that, it is easier to deal with. Well, somewhat. No one likes to sit in traffic, but it just seems less hopeless and downright depressing here.

If you’re on a motorcycle, splitting lanes is an option here in California. Doing so in congested Los Angeles County is much more dangerous, especially with desperate drivers recklessly changing lanes or illegally crossing over in to the carpool lane without warning.

Besides, there’s plenty to see and do here in our smaller, less congested county. Renting a motorcycle from OC Motorcycle and heading out onto the highways and roads here in Orange County is easier and more pleasurable than dealing with the ins and outs of Los Angeles and her environs.

With fall approaching, it’s a great time to reserve a bike from OC Motorcycle and explore our laid back and beautiful county!