The Name Game + Giveaway

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how I choose names for my characters. Do they have some kind of importance significance? Do I spend hours of prayer meditating over different names that I feel compelled to use in my stories? Are they based on people I know in real life? The answer is no, no, and no. Boring as it may sound, I choose names just because I like them. The end. It’s probably not the best way to go about things, because I sometimes get tired of a name half-way through a story and then it starts irritating me after a while. But most of the time, the names I randomly choose turn out pretty well, and my characters grow into them nicely.

The only exception I can think of is the main character of Interrupted, Allie. For those of you wondering, her full name “Alcyone” is pronounced Al-cee-o-nee. The story behind that naming is a little more interesting. In the beginning, I had her simply named “Allie”. She was a good old country girl, with a pretty little name without a lot of interest. Then one day, when doing some research for a paper on Greek mythology, I came across a mythological creature named “Alcyone”. This intrigued me, so I did a little more digging. Turns out, the mythological woman “Alcyone” also shares a name with a bright star in the Taurus constellation. Once I learned that, everything sort of clicked together for me. Naming her daughter after both a star and a Greek mythological character totally seemed like something Allie’s mother would do. In those days she had been both a dreamer and a romantic, so it seemed fitting to name her daughter something out-of-this-world.

So there you have it. My short story of the day. 🙂

On another note, I’m hosting a giveaway for my book! (Eruptive cheers!) If you’d like to win a free autographed copy of Interrupted personalized for you, leave a comment in the section below with your name and email address. The giveaway is open until Friday at 10 PM EST, so let all your friends know! Then I’ll announce a winner on Saturday. Good luck! (Contest is open to anyone in the continental US, but only one comment per person)

By the way, if you’ve never commented before, now would be the perfect time to start! Just sayin’. 😉



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  1. * amberrosalie says:

    My name choosing process is pretty much the same! I choose names I like and those names are generally either rare or completely made up. It’s the way I like it. 😛

    I also love the name Alcyone. Very pretty!

    Wish I could enter the competition, but as I’m in Australia, I’ll just stick with the comment! 😀

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  2. Ooh! Pick me! I want to read it 🙂

    Emily newyorksnowflake@gmail.com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  3. *raises hand and dances a jig* PICK MMEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! …please? 😀

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  4. * Margaret says:

    I would love an autographed copy!!!!

    And that’s so cool about how you picked the name – I always have such trouble finding names for my characters and I spend way too long on that. But I love learning about names and their meanings 🙂

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  5. * dynamicjoy says:

    Your book looks awesome!! =) Joy @ joysylvania@gmail.com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  6. Ohh I really want to read your book! Thanks for the giveaway!


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  7. * Taylor Lynn says:

    Guess I came along at just the right time, then, haha! I only just discovered you through Go Teen Writers!, and I think that it’s so inspiring how you were able to become a published author as a teenager. I’d definitely love to win a copy of your book!! *WHOOP WHOOP*

    Also, I think the story behind Allie’s full name is really cool. Alcyone is a really neat name, and I love the meaning it has behind it! Plus, I’m a big fan of Greek mythology, so, you know…

    Great post!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  8. * Daniel says:

    This is indeed a good time to comment!
    I usually pick names for my own novels for various reasons, but most of the time because I like the name.

    Daniel Beals
    knightofelyon (at) gmail (dot) com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  9. First time commenting, but I don’t think it’ll be the last. 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I really like it! It’s been so cool to see a teen author be published and read all the cool experiences you’re going through. This probably is pretty cliche by now, but I am so encouraged when I read your story to publication. I’m hoping that it’s God’s will that I can someday be a published author too.

    And I’ve been anxiously waiting for your book and would LOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE to win your giveaway. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  10. * Elizabeth says:

    I would love to win. I pick names pretty much at random which means at times I have some weird last names.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  11. Whohooo! A free copy would be awesome! I love the way you came up with Alcyone’s name. Most of my character’s name just flow from their characters. I picture the character and the name pops into my head. Other times I have to go searching. Generally I have an idea of what I’m looking for even if I can’t think of the name at the moment! 🙂


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  12. * lilacandivy says:

    he he, this was a great idea to get all of us people that read your blog to comment! 🙂 I really like that story of Allie’s name, by the way!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  13. * wrightchelle says:

    Do you ever care what your names mean? I mean, I’ll randomly choose a name, but does it matter what the name actually means? For example, one of my main secondary character’s name is James which means He usurps. I like the name, but not the meaning. Does it matter?


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Hi, Tiffanie! No, I don’t usually care what my names mean. That’s what I was trying to explain. If I find a name I love, I will use it, whether it means “God is my rock” or “cancerous sore on the neck”. 😉 James is a wonderful name and you should definitely use it! 🙂

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  14. * Katelyn S. says:

    Hi Rachel, I found your blog through a review that a friend did on your book. It sounds really good! my e-mail is: katelyn0891@windstream.net

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  15. * Novel Girl says:

    It’s a shame I’m in Australia. I’d love to review your book if you wanted to send an eBook version or ship to Australia! I have 250 followers and have clocked over 10,000 site views. Plus, I publish to Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Kobo too.

    Rebecca Berto = rebeccaberto [at] hotmail [dot] com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  16. * storygirl308 says:

    Sometimes I chose names with special meanings for characters, or name them for someone, but most of the time their names just come with them when they first pop into my head.

    writingforhisglory (at) gmail (dot) com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  17. * Paulina Czarnecki says:

    Hey Rachel! Well, I see I have a lot of competition, but… I’d love to win your giveaway!
    I usually pick character names by trying out cool-sounding ones to see if they fit. I found a sweet name for my current hero by searching for a ‘w’ name online (I like boy names that start with a ‘w’. Don’t know why!) 😀 When I find a simple name I like, I’ll change the spelling to make it cool. 🙂
    My email is kotszkot@yahoo.com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  18. * Sierra B. says:

    That is pretty much what I do with my first names…however I find that finding my last names is a whole lot harder. I’ve start combing through the phone-book 😛 I really want a last name that will stick with the first name you know? Cool!!!!!!!! My name is Sierra B. and my email is Sierrabooklover(at)gmail(dot)com

    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  19. * Taylor T. says:

    OOHHH!!!! Pick me! I want a free, autographed copy! I love books! A free book is a double whammy!

    My name is Taylor T. and my email is: TfT8966@yahoo.com

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  20. * beachtwin110 says:

    Grace S.


    Thank you Rachel!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  21. * Schuyler says:

    Hi Rachel!
    I am very much interested in your giveaway!


    Your story of publication inspires me in my own journey!


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  22. * AzlynRose says:

    I like the way you chose names, Rachel. It sounds fun! Naming my characters interesting things is fun.

    Name: Azlyn Rose
    Email: azlynrose@gmail.com

    Thank for hosting a giveaway, Rachel! 😀

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago
  23. * Kendall R. says:

    Amy, Emma, Josh, Robin, and Megan are driving me CRAZY telling me how awesome your book is. I can’t wait to read it and would love to have my own copy!

    Kendall R.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 3 months ago

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