Sunday, June 27, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I actually don't love choosing names--I'm always anxious the name will sound silly or too trendy or just weird. I usually try to play it safe: first names are those that are appropriate for the age of the characters--for instance, no mom is going to be called "Taylor" but a twelve year-old girl might. "Mildred" is better for the grandma than for the five year-old little sister. I usually choose first names that are short, one or two syllables, and not overly distracting. No "Siobhan," for instance. (No offense to all the Siobhans out there.)
Last names are harder--usually I'm also looking for a short, non-distracting name. But it also has to sound "real"--as in not overly bland. So I often use last names of people I know--friends, neighbors, former math teachers, etc. It's also a nice way of paying tribute to my favorite people--there's been a "Kohli" in my last two books, which is my best friend's last name.
Monday, June 14, 2010
On this blog, we talk about the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies (I know-- big duh, right?). Modern, contemporary romances are one of my favorite genres to read -- and to write!
But as a writer, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to one of the original young adult romance series, Sweet Valley High. It’s not an overstatement to say that my love of Sweet Valley is in large part responsible for my decision to forge a career in young adult publishing. Imagine my thrill, then, to be invited to join a small circle of diehard Sweet Valley fan bloggers to meet with Big Fancy Publishing People to talk about the release of the upcoming sequel: Sweet Valley Confidential!
For anyone who’s ever had a love-hate relationship with the Wakefield twins (and with series for readers of all ages in print, who hasn’t?), this splashy, soapy follow-up (Elizabeth and Jessica are 27!) lets us catch up with the whole crew.
Over lunch (including yummy tiny cupcakes!), we readers talked about what exactly we loved about the series, and how we thought we might be able to build buzz for the book before its release next March. We filled pages and pages of notebooks with ideas, many of which will be rolled out very very soon. You’ll have the chance to read early chapters from Sweet Valley Confidential, to win swag like that pictured above (a teaser chapter from the book, a “Team Jessica” tee shirt, and a sparkly Wakefield compact mirror!), and much, much more!
I’ll be blogging about the first chapter of SV Confidential soon, but in the meantime, whether you’re new to the series or a long-standing groupie, now’s the time to get reading! It’s pretty sweet stuff!
Oh -- and let me know: Team Jessica, or Team Elizabeth? If you're like me, you're probably a little bit of both!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
So of course I'm answering the question of the month with Endless Summer on my mind. Here's how I came up with the characters' names:
LORI: I really just used this name as a filler until I could go back and change it. I meant to do a search-and-replace in Word with a name I liked better. Unfortunately the cover was designed before I finished writing The Boys Next Door, and Lori's name was on it.
ADAM: I give my heroes names that I love but that don't really remind me of anybody: Adam, Nick, Drew, and currently, Hunter.
SEAN: He is named after Sean Penn. Remember in Truth or Dare, I think, when Madonna says Sean is the love of her life? You could really see in her face that she pined after him, and that's how Lori feels about my Sean.
CAMERON: He is named after the adorable but unfortunate best friend in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I'm showing my age here.
MCGILLICUDDY: Lori's older brother is named Bill, but everyone calls him by his ridiculously long last name. The power of naming is very strong. I get to do it as the author, because I'm inventing this world. Parents get to do it for their children. And if a kid gets to name his friends with nicknames that actually stick...well, that's a very powerful kid. I gave that power to Sean to show you how he glows with an aura of popularity, and therefore why Lori would fall for him, and why all of this would drive his little brother Adam completely insane with jealousy and outrage.
So...I thought it would be funny for Sean to call Bill by his excruciatingly long last name until it caught on. I literally went through the phone book and picked the longest name I could find that seemed to fit.
I'm really pleased with all my choices. Except for Lori. Too late now...