The Name Game
Thanks Lucy for having me here at Erotica For All today!
I had a English professor who used to call the symbolic use of names in literature the “name game.” Traditionally, authors have used names as shorthand to help readers understand something about characters. J.K. Rowling is very adept at this. For example, Draco Malfoy’s name tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him even before you really find out what kind of person he is. Draco just sounds nasty. Actually, it sounds like dragon, which works because the name Draco means “snake or serpent”. I’d say the name fits that character well. And the last name Malfoy? A basic knowledge of English tells you this means bad. Mal always is something negative, such as maladjusted, malnourished, malcontent. So before you even get to see dear Draco Malfoy in action, the name game has told you he’s bad.
When I began writing years ago, that lesson of the name game was fresh in my mind, so I’ve always used names to help readers with characterization. For example, I have a character in one of my Destined Ones series’ books named Amon Kalins. Without knowing a thing about him, a reader can tell he might be powerful. The name Amon just sounds like he’s got something powerful about him.
Or take Vasilije, the hero of the first Sons of Navarus book, Blood Avenged. Even without knowing what his name means (or how to say it…it’s pronounced va-see-lay), readers know there’s something different and powerful about him. (Actually, names that begin with the letter V tend to indicate power.) His character is a very powerful vampire sire. Now what would you say if I told you Vasilije means “king or royal”? That works well since he’s the son of a Romanian prince and controls his vampires like a king would. I chose that name purposefully to indicate that part of his character along with loving the way it sounded.
In Blood Betrayed, Saint’s name is a nickname given to him by those who see his refusal to sleep with vampire females as something negative and deserving of derision. To them, he’s acting like a saint and not like the sensual vampire he naturally is. Sometimes it isn’t the name game but just the sound of a name that leads to me choosing it. Saint’s real name is Declan, a name I choose simply because I love it. It works well, though, since the character is fromIreland. His heroine’s name, Solenne, was one I chose specifically because it’s French and she’s from France. Its meaning of “solemn” didn’t play into my choice. I just liked the name.
Often names mean something in my books, but then sometimes I choose characters’ names because of the way they sound. One thing is for sure. I’m never haphazard when I choose a name. It’s never just something I add at the end or without thought.
I am everything forbidden. I am vampire.
Haunted by betrayal, Saint hides in the human world, giving his heart to no one and finding the only solace from his past in the arms of human women. Now as the Archons begin their takeover of the vampire world, this Son of Navarus has been marked for death.
Summoned to defeat the Archons by the world that shunned him, Saint must face his past and Solenne, the woman he loved and lost a century ago, for only in accepting her will his body and soul finally find salvation.
Looking around the eighteenth century French country house, Saint saw that little had changed since the last time he’d been there. Expensively furnished, Solenne’s home had been some important sire’s until she’d decided that the French countryside offered little of the excitement an ancient vampire craved. At least that was the story Solenne had told. Who knew if it were true.
As he stared up at the crystal chandelier above his head, he said what he wished would be the last words he’d have to say to her. “Just tell me where my room is and where I can work out.”
Solenne stood staring at him, and he felt her eyes boring holes through him.
“Saint, I’d hoped we could put the past behind us to work together. Can we at least talk?”
He lowered his gaze to meet hers and saw ocean blue eyes wide with hope staring back at him. That she could think that giving him some doe-eyed look and meaningless words would be enough to erase everything that had happened only made him more enraged about the situation.
“I’m not interested in talking or taking some stroll down memory lane. Just point me to my room and where I can work out.”
The fiery look that instantly filled her eyes showed she was the same Solenne from all those years ago. He knew that oh-so-helpful woman from Vasilije’s was just an act.
“It doesn’t have to be like this. I’d hoped you’d be a bigger man and see how we could work together. I see you’re the same man you’ve always been, unfortunately.”
Gabrielle Bisset spends her days teaching college students American and European history, but by night she’s an erotic romance author. Her first book, Stolen Destiny, was released by Siren Publishing in June 2011, and since then she’s released the novellas of The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy–Vampire Dreams, Love’s Master, and Masquerade–in addition to Destiny Redeemed. In December 2011, she released Blood Avenged, the first book in the Sons of Navarus series about eight vampires who must protect their world against an enemy that travels among their kind. Blood Betrayed is the second book in the series. She lives in Pennsylvania with her teenage son and a herd of pets.
Website: Gabrielle Bisset Romance http://www.gabriellebisset.com/
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