Thursday, August 23, 2012


Hi, folks! I’m happy to visit today. I’m Holley Trent. I write quirky romances that are sometimes hot, sometimes sweet, but always a little bit ridiculous. I gotta ask: do you ever wonder what a writer goes through to name characters in their stories?

(Well, if you’re a writer you already know that answer. Bear with me, anyway.)

I try to be very intentional with my character naming. Most of my stories, including my newest Rebel Ink Press romantic comedy novelette All Shook Up are set in Chowan County, North Carolina. The demographics there are very specific because there’s not a lot population turnover. Most of the surnames are going to be English but there’s a small spattering of Spanish surnames there.

So, what do I do?

I use phone directories and yearbooks to pick out common surnames in the area beyond the typical “Smith” and “Jones.” First names I can be a little more creative with, but nicknames are the most fun to play with.

In All Shook Up, my heroine Nicolette goes by the name “Nikki.” Her beau Charles goes by “Charlie” (whereas his father Charles goes by “Chuck”). You can safely assume if I call a character by their full name, they’re probably in deep doo-doo.
The novel-length spin-off to All Shook Up will be available next month, but I’m already cooking up ideas for the next story set in that little world.

I need your help naming a character for that novel. So, in the comments to this post tell me what your idea of an “old-fashioned” name is and I will randomly pick one from all my blog tour stops this week and use it in the next book. The winner will also get a mention in the acknowledgements and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the book (whenever it comes out).
All Shook Up by Holley Trent is available now for Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, in multiple formats at All Romance eBooks, and also at other fine e-retailer

If you’d like to keep up with news about Nikki and her little universe, check out my website or see what I’m yakking about on Twitter. Just follow @holleytrent.


Tiny Excerpt of All Shook Up:

Mercedes opened the office door, looked out to see if anyone was lurking in the hall, and then pulled her head back in to close it.  “The rumor is that she’s made one of those porno movies—and not even the good ones that you get in the mail in plain brown packages, but one of those shitty internet ones you have to download and then hope nobody finds while they’re on computer printing coupons and shit.”

The right side of my face twitched.  I didn’t even know which part of the statement to address first.  “Do you think it’s true?”

“Wouldn’t be hard to find out.  You want me to find out?”

I imagined Luz stumbling onto the computer her mother had negligently left open on some scandalous link and shuddered.

“Um.  No…um…  Hey, you know what?  I know a hacker-type guy who lives alone in a trailer and who would probably love to do me a favor.  I’ll ask him.”

“You mean that guy who lives out on Yellowhammer who has all his windows painted black?”

I blinked mutely at Mercedes’ knowledge of the county crazies.



lastnerve said...

Loved the blog post and how about the name Elizabeth? Or Violet? Cassandra? I can't wait to read your book. I laughed when I read how you found names in the phonebook. lol Here's to many sales of All Shook Up.

lastnerve2000 at gmail dot com

Holley Trent said...

Val, I *love* the name Elizabeth. That's my daughter's middle name!

That's totally going to be my heroine's roommate. Advance warning: she's a little nuts.

I've got your email saved to my handy dandy computer. I'll get you hooked up!