Tag Archives: names

It’s top ten…

Candice: People keep asking me where the name Erin came from for my daughter.  Well, it took months of web searching and conversations going ‘so and so, nope, what about this one, nope’.  But as we looking through the names we realised we didn’t want something that was ‘Top Ten’. What do I mean by this, well a name that was in the top ten of popular names in the UK for the last few years. Having a different name has helped (and hindered me) over the years and I wanted her to also have something different.

Searching for a character name is very similar to looking for one for your child. It has to suit their personality and reflect their approach.  I always knew our protagonist was Kate but some of the other characters were harder to define.  In this case, you could change them later on (as we did when we realised we had Olive and Olivia) but with a child, once they are registered you are a bit stuck.

I think I felt as much pressure getting Erin’s name right as I did the characters in our book, and it our other stories.  Some times they just came to me, e.g. a story which we have yet to publish about an office worker was based on the lady I sat next to at the time, Lindsay, but others have struggled to find a voice, the story might come but the character name does not.  But it has to be right, else people will read the book or story and go ‘hum, I like this book but they just don’t feel like a John to me’.  It also depends on your own experience of that name, alot of the names we rejected for both book and daughter were because we’d gone to school, worked or otherwise met someone with that name and therefore it has a bad association.  I went to school with a lad called Dominic and he used to get teased terribly and they would pronounce his name as if he had a speech problem, something that I can still hear now.  So I’d never call a child Dominic.

Have you changed your name?  Do you have any examples of names you would avoid for the same reason?

And why an image of Kylie?  Well, when Kylie and Jason were big in the mid 80’s suddenly we had a lot of Kylie’s around. I think the same might have happened with my name after the character in Coronation street 😦

Leave a comment

Filed under Candice, Writing

Who would play you in the movie ?

Phil: Channel 5 is delighting us on the New Year bank holiday with “Magic Beyond Words – The JK Rowling story” *.  According to the official website, it dramatizes the British author’s struggle to bring the beloved wizard fantasy of Harry Potter to life. In order to do this, Rowling is played by an Australian actor called “Poppy Montgomery”.

Now there is a fine tradition of famous Scottish people being portrayed by actors who hail from the land down under where women go and men chunder. Mel Gibson playing William Wallace for example. It’s obvious really, what with all accents being identical to the brogue, as proved by Sean Connery.

Anyway, this got me thinking. If famous authors lives are going to be subject to biopics, perhaps we ought to start thinking about who will be playing us in “The epic tale of nolanparker” – appearing at a cinema near you soon. This might sounds a touch presumptuous, but it’s best to be prepared in case Hollywood calls. After all, you don’t want to blurt out a name only to regret it later do you ?

So, I started by asking Candice. She consulted her husband and came back with either Diana Rigg or Gillian Anderson. An interesting and brave choice. The former is 30 years too old and the later was last seen on UK screens as a slightly mental Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Presumably we are thinking more X-Files than Dickens, or at least we are if we don’t want the next lunchtime sandwich to be a knuckle one…

Which leaves me.

Now I’m not sure this is a plumb role but if I’m not to be airbrushed out of history, then I better come up with someone. Leaonard Nimoy is nearly twice my age now so he’s out. Brian Blessed would be good and he’s quite mad enough, but probably too loud and definitely over-beardy. Charlie Brown might work except he is a cartoon character. If America wants a Brit for anything other than a baddie, they ring High Grant but he’s far too posh and has that stupid flicky hair anyway.

Sticking with mad people, Mackenzie Crook can do weird but is far too skinny. On the other hand, Martin Freeman could pull off the bemused act I do when being told about fashion. He was in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Film though, officially the second worst ever made, so irredeemably tainted. But, following this train of thought, when the phone rings, I’m going to suggest his co-star in Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch. Give the man a silly haircut and I reckon we could get away with it. Either that, or Wall-E.

Now admit it, you’ve often asked the “Who would play me in the biopic” question. What answers did you come up with ?


*Now I’ve watched the film, if the makers come a’knocking they will be sent packing. I knew things would be bad when they tried to pass off a modern Raleigh Chopper as a 1980’s model right at the start. Everyone knows that modern health & safety insisted on the removal of the crossbar mounted gear lever before the classic bike was re-issued. If they can’t get that right then how can we have faith in the other details like the heroine went out with Ron Weasly or the Edinburgh post office was full of trolls ?

1 Comment

Filed under Phil

What do you call a posh bird ?

Olivia Trumpington-Thomas was best described as “Good Country Stock”. Her passion was for breeding cattle. Belgian Blue’s were her favourites – although some had cruelly have suggested that the breeds square set stance and stocky features were not that different from their owner. She hadn’t really wanted to marry but her father had said that it was her duty so the task was set about with the same efficiency that she used when choosing sires for her livestock. The list of requirements was short, good temperament, reasonable features and respectable family lineage.

Phil: Olivia is the anti-Kate in our world. Everything Kate is, she isn’t. One loves the country, the other can’t stand the idea of mud on her shoes.

She doesn’t play a large part in our book at present, her first meeting (and mating) with Gareth was edited out as holding up the early part of the story despite being very funny. However, she does still pop up occasionally, mainly to help define Gareth for the reader.  The only problem is her name. You see we also have a character called Olive – who does play a big part in the tale. Neither of us had spotted the similarity between the two names but a couple of the test readers did and found it a touch confusing.

In our heads, there are very different people. We see them different and never confused them but if this book is going to be read by more than a small circle then these things need sorting out. Therefore Olivia needs a new name.

But what should it be ? We’ve bashed ideas around over tea and cake but can’t settle on one that seems right. It needs to be short, ruling out Jocasta or Arabella, the two poshest names I could come up with. The name must have gravitas and age too, Chelsea is too modern and to be honest, too chavy.

The Trumpington-Thomases are a very old family. They doubtless consider the Queen an icon but perhaps a little too German. After all, they can trace their lineage back many generations before her lot pitched up on our shores. They have a family pew in the local church and sit there every Sunday safe in the knowledge that their relatives are beneath them in the family crypt.

These are people who don’t consider fashion. Their gel will be called something traditional. She will live in a world of livestock, sensible shoes, voting Tory, tweed, titles, leaky old houses, aged Land Rovers and wax jackets that might come from Barbour, but because they last for years rather than trendiness. Years ago, she might have been a debutant but not one of the really pretty ones. Tom Sharpe fans should think Lady Maud rather than Pippa Middleton.

Anyway, you get the idea. We need help so are throwing the floor open to suggestions in the comment section please. Let’s see what the fertile minds on the Interweb can come up with.


Filed under fashion, Phil, Writing

What’s in a name?

Candice: Now you may be wondering where the name Nolan Parker comes from. Now, obviously it relates to our last names, yes Dear Reader I know you are not that thick, but why not just put our two full names? Phil may be able to remember the conversation as it would have happened at some point during our sojourn at the quango, but I assume it had something to do with simplicity.

I wonder, when that fateful meeting with the Agent happens, if they will suggest another change, abit like JK Rowling who was told to make her name more masculine for a boy reading audience (ah little did they know). Is Nolan Parker chick lit enough?

I actually quite like the name as I am trading under false pretences at the moment, as my husband will tell you. Nolan is my maiden name and I’m proud of its strong Irish roots. There are two girls in this side of the family, and my Dad only had a sister so we are the end of the Nolan line. Hence my requirement to dig my heels in and keep my name. Back this up with the fact I am self employed and trade off people knowing my name and it’s an uphill battle for him. Make me famous and I’ll definitely be on to a winner! (Though I do think Cheryl Cole has a better ring than Tweedy).

However, here is another option, courtesy of deed poll. As this BBC article will tell you, a lot of people are changing there names for all kind of reasons. There are some lovely examples in there, which I will leave you to read, though I have to say one of the best I have heard is Kate Winslet’s new squeeze – Ned Rocknroll…. Need we say more?

But they also have this corker…

“Other reasons include …married couples seeking to combine their surnames. Michael Pugh and Rebecca Griffin merged their names by deed poll to become Mr and Mrs Puffin when they married last year.”

Hum, that would make me Swolan or Nift.

Thoughts? What might you be?


Filed under Writing