For 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: OUT OF CONTROL
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 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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