It’s all in the name…
My characters’ names are very important to me. Some of them turn up with their own names right away, some are more difficult.
It always seems that if the name’s there, it works – if I try to force it, it doesn’t feel right and it’s best to wait for it to appear in its own time. I like using place names for people and people’s names for places. I like nicknames, especially if only certain characters are privileged to know and use them. I collect names and a lot of my characters are named after real people for no reason other than it being a name that caught my attention and was stashed away for the right moment. Some of my characters, however, have names that are really significant to me…
LC, as I’ve said, is based on – and named after – someone who was very special to us. The origins of the surname we adopted for him date the beginning of the writing of this story and can be tracked back to the Tottenham team of the early 90s. That was an awesome line up at the front.
Hil turned up out of nowhere. I always thought that Zachary was a cool name and love the fact that Hil hates it so much. I also love the way everyone calls him Hil – that nickname also reminds me of someone very special.
Hal Duncan is named after someone special that I never met. He was my husband’s best friend at school. They both joined the army at 16, went into different units and Duncan (Tiny as he was known – he was 6’4”) died at the age of 17. I knew both of them by reputation before I met my husband. I wish I’d had the chance to meet Tiny. My husband still misses him.
NG has only recently revealed his name and even then, it had to be dragged out of him. That was always part of his appeal. He was the character, the new guy, who turned up out of nowhere, without so much as a name, as a breath of fresh air to nudge everyone else into action when they were playing up. I had no idea back then how complex he’d turn out to be, how much there is to him that he hides from everyone behind that veneer of easy confidence. I think that’s why it took so long to learn his name.