TJ asks: I have a question for you Mrs. Marlow. How do you come up with names for your characters?? I always have a terrible time coming up with names. :(
I'm sorry it took so long to post this, TJ. The fan stories have been coming in fast and furious. Hurrah!
From all over the place. First of all, my "Andi" name I saw in an old western once, and I never forgot it, since I liked that it was kind of a "boy" name but really meant "Andrea," so she could be a lady too, if I needed. I tucked that away for future use.
I've always liked the name Justin, and apparently so did my daughter. She named one of her kids "Justan."
Besides, that, all my characters are named for people I know, mostly from my church and homeschooled friends:
Chad is my oldest son, and he is just like the Chad in the book.
Mitchell was the little blond son of our pastor.
Melinda Jane was a little girl in my homeschool co-op, whom I taught. I thought her name was old-fashioned, so it worked for me. She ended up marrying MY son Andrew (who was "Andy" until he learned about my "Andi," and then he decided he was ANDREW, not Andy any longer. He was 11 at the time.) LOL
Katherine was the daughter of my good friend.
Rebecca (as in Aunt Rebecca) was her sister.
Levi is my grandson (although MY Levi in the story came first. It was originally Caleb, but my editor didn't want another "C" name for a character (already having Chad), so I changed it.
Elizabeth and Hannah are the names of my two nieces who live in Kansas.
To find names that are historically accurate, I Google "Baby Names 1860" or something like that. I find all kinds of names that way. I don't use a modern baby book much, but you could if your own story is set in modern times. For River of Peril, a new Goldtown book coming out next spring, I need some French names for a riverboat captain and his son, whom my heroes (Jem and Ellie) befriend. I looked up "French names." By the way, I got "Jem" from To Kill a Mockingbird, but made up the Jeremiah part. "Ellie" (Ellianna) is my granddaughter.
And . . . finally . . . Jem's cousin Nathan is the name of my oldest grandson.
Hope that helps, TJ!