On The Bench

Characters on the Bench

Welcome to our brand new 4th Monday Q&A feature for our fab cozy authors!

July’s Question
What outrageous character names tickle your fancy?

Terry Ambrose: I’m terrible with outrageous character names! However, I’ll give this a go. How about a femme fatale named Scarlett Ribbons? Or a boss who was called Malum Dictatum? The psycho could be Doozy McCoozy. And a stalking ex could be Folle McVey.

Nancy J. Cohen: The most outrageous character names I’ve created are in DEAD ROOTS, #7 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Champagne Glass is the social events coordinator at the haunted Sugar Crest Plantation Resort. She speaks in an effervescent voice and has a bubbly personality. George Butler is the staid hotel manager who wears tailored suits to match his proper manner. Seto Mulch is the groundskeeper whose name reflects his job. “Brownie” Butterworth is the resort’s pastry chef. Wanda Beake, an avid bird watcher, acts as tour guide. And finally, Dr. Rip Spector is a paranormal investigator looking for spooks.

Debra H. Goldstein: I’m horrible at making up names – especially outrageous ones. That said, I sometimes phrase something in a manner that creates an outrageous name or phrase. For example, in the acknowledgements of one of my Sarah Blair books, I thanked one of my beta readers by writing he “is a master beta reader.”

Cheryl Hollon: Shylo Drew is the perfect name for a reluctant amateur sleuth who is too curious for her own good, or she could be Nancy’s younger, smarter sister. Bobby Clueless would be the bumbling police constable in a small British village. Dewey Lids is perfect for the femme fatale accused of murdering her gangster boyfriend, Aye Dunnit.

Diane A.S. Stuckart: As an author I try not do dip too deeply into farce or cliché when it comes to monikers. Instead, I give my characters names that are a step above “John Smith” and “Jane Doe” but are names you’d find in real life. That said, the female antagonist in my short story, The Shape of Things, was named Tiffany Glass, which I think would also work quite nicely for a femme fatale. Any evil boss would have to be Cash Ledger; the psycho would be Thurston Sharp; the stalking ex would be Beatrice “Bea” Ware; and the BFF would be Sally Friday, just because that’s such a chipper name.

Maggie Toussaint: I like Lovely Divine for the femme fatal, Frank Fearsome for the evil boss, Luna Tic for the psycho, Bess Friendly for the best friend, and Knight Walker for the stalking ex, and Dix Daring for the detective.

Lois Winston: Gee, the best ones have already been taken—Natasha Fatale, Boris Badenov, Dudley Do-Right…but here goes. Femme fatale: Bea Guiler; Evil Boss: Griede Cunning; Psycho: Villin Nutter; Best Friend: Faith Friendly; Stalking Ex: Rush Savage; Thief: Rob Steele; Female Sleuth: Scout Sharpe; Hero: Beau Knight; Heroine: Belle Lovely; Victim: Ash Underhill; and, Detective: Whit Braner.

You’ve read our “on the bench” responses. Now it’s your turn! Test your author chops and comment with an outrageous name you create.

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13 thoughts on “Characters on the Bench

  1. Love this discussion! How about the journalist: Reed Pages or Paige Reed. I named a skittish substitute teacher in in my book Ms. Bleat. When I name a prominent character I think of his/her backstory. For example, the love interest of my MC is named MacIntosh August Campbell, or Mac for short. His childhood moniker was Toshie.

  2. I’m not good at thinking up things. I can’t remember things or names that i do come up with for very long. I thought i was having some good ideas. By the time i wrote down my first names, I forgot my other thoughts. They may or may not come back to me. That said, my first thought was twin detectives, Erle Mason & Stanley Mason. Guess you can figure out my 1st #1 author!


  3. When I was working for the NCR Corporation, I met an executive from the Personnel Department name Thomas A Hawk – yep, that’s Tomahawk. What were his parents thinking?

    1. LOL when I was a kid I went to a dentist named Dr. Payne. And I had a friend in college going to mortuary school named Steve Graves. 🙂

  4. I collect names on bits and pieces of paper everywhere I go. I also collect street names when I travel for fictional towns. One of my fav places for mining names is obituaries. I love reading the names of all the relatives and feeling how they roll off my tongue. I may have three of four lists of names in each of my book file folders. That makes it handy for when I need a quick character name. Otherwise, I tend to look at all the author names on books on my shelves!

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