Naming a character is always a matter of intense interest for an author. Sometimes it’s a lot of work – I find myself flipping through the phone book or baby name book looking for that perfect first name/last name combination. Sometimes however, a name just appears from nowhere – the perfect name for a perfect (or perfectly bad) character.
When DEATH ON TOUR was almost complete, it occurred to me that I should search the internet to make sure that my characters had unique names. Well, I found out there are no unique names, but at least I could take comfort in knowing that my characters didn’t share a name with a famous person…except one. The intriguing and mysterious Alan Stratton started out as Alan Stanford. And imagine my horror when the quick internet search revealed that a certain Allen Stanford was facing charges for massive fraud and running a Ponzi scheme. NO!!! The difference in spelling wasn’t enough to save my Alan, and I quickly changed the Stanford to Stratton. The funny thing is that he’ll always be Alan Stanford to a small part of my brain, and even now I’ll find myself occasionally uncertain about which name is correct.