Welcome Cafe Guest Morgan Malone

Morgan Malone AvatarFor me, one of the most difficult aspects of writing is naming my characters. Once in a while, a name pops into my head at the same time the glimmer of an idea about the story surfaces. It was like that with Katarina: Out Of Control. I kept thinking that the opening line had to be “Curiosity killed the cat.” Because I knew that “satisfaction was going to bring her back.” My heroine had to have a name that could be shortened to “Kat.” Katherine was not exotic enough for the woman who had been dancing around in my writer’s imagination for over a year, so she became Katarina. To keep with her exotic nature, I made her the grand-daughter of Russian immigrants and gave her a variation on a family name for her surname: Galchinsky.

But the men, as they so often do, gave me a problem. The first draft of Katarina had a hero named Fred. Now, Fred is not the most romantic name and it certainly cannot be termed “exotic.” But, he stayed Fred throughout the second draft as well. My Beta reader argued for Fred as the final name but my faithful editor suggested then encouraged then almost demanded that Fred become someone else. “Fred” was a 40 year-old criminal defense attorney. He was a Bradley Cooper look-alike-contest-winner. He was Jewish, urbane and he liked the upper-hand in court as well as the bedroom. He was definitely NOT a “Fred.” I was stumped. I thought of a couple of names but as they were also the names of students in my Sunday School class (yes, I teach Sunday School), I knew I could not use them.

I ran a contest on my Facebook page, asking my friends and followers to come up with suggestions for a romance hero name. Most of them were names that had been used many times before: Jake, Sam or Todd. One friend, who admittedly does not read much romance, suggested some truly un-romantic names: Shlomo was the one that made me snort! A few guy friends were typical guys with typical guy suggestions: Dirk, Rock and Rod. But one friend, my grammar critic, hit the nail on the head with Zachary. Fred became Zack and the rest is history.

My favorite heroes, apart from the ones I have created, are Rhett, Jamie and Roarke. I love those names and I love those men, just like I now love Zack.

And, just so you know, Rick is the one who got away from Kat. He has been pestering me for his own book since I typed the final page of Katarina: Out Of Control. I am already working on his story. I think Rick may become my next favorite hero.

How important are names to the story? What are the names of some of your favorite heroes and why?

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Katarina’s world spun out of control and she was left alone. Can she avoid disaster again by holding on or is it time to let go? And if she does, who of her lovers will finally master her?

Katarina: Out of Control CoverKatarina Galchinsky is alone. And that was not how she had planned her life. At almost 40, she has a brilliant career, an expensive loft, and good friends. All she could want – except her beloved husband , who was stolen from her by the Iraqi War. Alone for almost ten years, Kat has controlled everything affecting her career as a partner in a top law firm, her family and her heart, so nothing bad can happen to her again. A seemingly platonic, but satisfying relationship with her old law school buddy, Zachary, has been all she’s needed. Until now.

Sam, a controlling lawyer, begins Kat on her journey of submission—in the boardroom and in the bedroom. Rick, a screenwriter and a Marine vet, introduces her to light bondage and more rough play at his beach house on the Jersey shore. Bradley is a brilliant yet wounded businessman who plays hard with a plethora of toys coupled with sometimes harsh commands in his quest to totally dominate Kat.

Will Kat find what she’s looking for in the arms of one of her lovers? Or is her heart’s desire in the place she least expected?

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Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write erotic romance and sexy memoirs.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries with The Posse, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she hides out in her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours.

You can follow Morgan on her website and social media.


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Welcome Cafe Guest Morgan Malone — 18 Comments

  1. Good morning. I’m glad to be at the Cafe this frosty morning, nursing a big cup of hot lemon tea. Thanks for inviting me. I know February is writer crush month here in the cafe. A lady who was perhaps my biggest writer crush, Bertrice Small, passed away this week. While I loved her historical romances, she wrote fantastic contemporary romance as well. Who wouldn’t want access to a pleasure channel? I’d certainly give up HBO and STARZ for that! Wouldn’t you? I will be giving away a digital copy of Katarina: Out Of Control today to one of your comments.

  2. I had to laugh out loud at the romantic name Fred! It’s so true that coming up with good character names is a challenge. I can’t imagine yelling out Shlomo in the throes of passion. *snort*

    • Thanks for your comment, Lana. I am laughing about Shlomo. If you read Cocktales, my dating memoir, you will meet the bad boy rabbi named Mendel. Also not a name you think of uttering “in the throes of passion” but you work with what you have! Lol.

  3. I had to chuckle at the dilemma you faced in naming Fred/Zach. I sometimes have the same problem. Thank goodness for ‘Find and Replace’; I’ve used that function many times to try different names on a particularly stubborn character. Thanks for visiting with us today, Morgan!

    • I had to use find and replace for Fred! I am still worried there is a stray “Fred” lurking about somewhere in my book! One of my first stories is “Deuces Wild.” It is based on a tale told to me by a relative who served in the Navy. He didn’t want me use his name or the names of the twins he was “involved” with, so I told him he had to give me alternate names. He came up with George for the sailor and (are you ready?) Juanita and Patsy for the twin sisters. The publisher loved it! Go figure!

  4. I struggle with names as well, so I’ve started a list and every time I hear a name I like, I add it to the list…first and last names. But I still have to match the character with the name. In my last release, I named one of the heroes Charlie. I needed a good ole boy name, and while I knew it wasn’t a romantic name, I stuck with it because this guy was Charlie. I’ve taken some flack about his name from people who haven’t read the book, but readers love him. I’ll admit that I get tired of seeing the same names used over and over again, which makes naming characters even more difficult. Thanks for joining us today and discussing such a relatable topic!

    • Hello Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. I am finding writing romance to be a lot more difficult than reading romance ever was! But I am loving the process and all the support from our writing friends and the rest of the scamps. Hope you are feeling better.

  5. Samantha, thanks for inviting me to chat with all these cool ladies in the café! I am going to use your idea and start keeping track of names I like for new works…and I will cross off the ones I’ve already used too. Organization is key to good writing, I am finding, now that I have more than one project in the works and more than one out in the marketplace. I happen to love the name Charlie. I originally chose him as one of Katarina’s potential lovers, but he didn’t make the final cut. Which of your books features Charlie? I want to read it!

  6. Welcome to the Cafe, Morgan. I often struggle with name, too. The names of the characters in my debut novel changed more than once. I’ve also changed the name of the character in my current WIP, since her name just didn’t seem sexy or exotic enough for the character I had in mind.

    • Hello, Reese. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes, like with Katarina, the character tells me her name. But, in my current WIP, I am struggling with my heroine’s name. I know in my mind what I want it to be, but as I write each page, the name doesn’t fit the character she is becoming. I may have to employ the “find and replace” method once this one is done and I have finally figured out her name.
      When I wrote “Cocktales”, my after-50 dating memoir, which was also released by TMP on the same day as “Katarina”, I wrote it with each “date’s” real name, so I could keep them straight. But, when publication approached, I needed to change the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent. I had to make a chart of each man’s real name and his “new” name. After “Cocktales” was published, one of my former dates contacted me. He wasn’t upset about his somewhat less than flattering chapter, he just didn’t like the alias I had used for him. Men!

  7. Samantha, thank you for inviting me to the cafe today. And thanks to everyone who stopped by on a busy Saturday. I drew names from a hat and Barbara won a digital copy of Katarina and Reese won a copy of Cocktales. Please send me your emails so I can send the copies to you. And if you like what you read, please write a shott review on Amazon. Stay warm!

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