Some character names come easily. They fit the character like a comfortable old shoe, conveying aspects of his or her personality even before the first encounter. Huckleberry Finn, for example; Twain nailed that one. Those adventures down the Mississippi would not have been nearly as fun with a “Demetrius” at the helm of the flatboat.
I knew from the first concept sketch I drew for this novel that the main character would be a girl. (My wife laughs at this assertion; she can’t imagine me making a male protagonist since I am so “in touch with my feminine side.”) And I knew that she would be named Emily. Some names are classic enough that you can use them just about anywhere.
But she wasn’t just “Emily” in my mind. She needed to be a girl that had become obsessed with plants in a society that had mostly forgotten about their existence. As she grew older she would change from just “Emily” to “Emily Rose.”
And boy isn’t that a great sounding name!
Well, my wife pointed out to me that she had heard that name before. Sure enough, she was right. IMDB Emily Rose and you will see that she was the titular character in a 2005 movie about exorcism. Great. She’s also an actress that most recently starred in the second “Drake’s Fortune” video game. And if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see that she is also the name of a character played by Abigail Breslin in 2006.
“Smooth move,” I said to myself.
Well, screw it. I’m calling my character Emily Rose no matter how many associations with satanic possession, cookie cutter 3rd person action games, or “Little Miss Sunshine” it conjures up in people. More than that, I’m naming the whole bloody book after her.
How does “Emily Rose and the Half Blood Princess” sound to you?