Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Character Name Auctions
By Maggie Toussaint

At a recent fundraising event, authors held a silent auction for a good cause – to help raise money for a nearby library. I was happy to have one of my character’s names up for grabs, and a very nice lady bid on it.

I came home to figure out which characters were available in an option book I’d already turned in. This 2019 book, Dreamed It, has four main suspects, all male (and for a very good reason) so that wouldn’t work. I read along in the story to determine what options I had for this winner.

I found some characters with small parts who were nice, one K-9 officer that had a modest role, and to spice things up, I added the medical examiner who is a bit of an eccentric. I can’t wait to find out which role this lady will select.

What would you go for? A walk-on role with few-to-no lines, an active role in the investigation, or the feisty M.E.?

Comments

  1. I used the name from one of my prior winners as the manager of Tally’s dress shop in Hair Brained. Previously, I made other winners a stylist and a shampoo girl in Marla’s salon. Sometimes it’s hard to plan ahead for which book you’ll have available.

    • I’ve found most readers are excited to be in the book. I often have a string of minor characters to choose from. They are already named in the manuscript, so its a matter of changing out the names and sometimes the gender and personality. In the old days, doing something like that would’ve shaken me, but now i feel my editing skills are up to the task. Any readers out there want to comment?

  2. Murder on the Menu in Wetumpka, AL, is a fun luncheon event where authors and readers have a lot of face time. I enjoy these type of events so much because I have a chance to hear what readers are looking for in books.

  3. How wonderful that people want to get involved in the book!

    Right now, I’d just love it if people would give me names. I have at least a dozen placeholders in my current WIP. If anyone here is interested, there are details at https://terryodell.com/your-name-in-my-book/