When I name my heroes and heroines, I try to make sure their names are indicative of their character. But sometimes, I get to exercise a little whimsy when I name things other than people. Consider for example, the Susan Bell, Captain Nicholas Scott’s beloved ship in Lord of Devil Isle.
Now this is a name that doesn’t mean much to anyone except me, but I’m so happy it’s there. You see, Susie Bell was the the name of my beloved little dog. She was a pound puppy who’d been dropped off at the animal shelter because she was sick. She’d also been abused. She was terrified of anyone in a ball cap and it took her six months to warm up to my DH, who is nothing but kind.
But with patience and love, she blossomed into a happy little girl. The shelter estimated her at 5 years old when she came to us, though the vet thought she was probably older, but she had 12 happy years with us. We had to say a tearful goodbye to her in November 2009.
But prior to that, Connie Mason and I had collaborated on Lord of Devil Isle and I was able to slip my little dog’s name in as Nick’s ship, the Susan Bell. He loves his ship and would describe her like this:
“A two-masted sloop, the Susan Bell was shallow on the draft, quick as a whore’s trick, and answered to the helm like a lady, gently-bred.”
My little dog will always live in my heart. Now she’ll also live in one of my books.
So now you know my secret.
Now I’m going to offer you a chance to name a place in my next WIP. It’s called Between a Rake and a Hard Place and it’s the last of the Royal Rakes series, due out January 2014. A good bit of this story is going to be set at the country home of the heroine, Lady Serena Osborn, daughter of a marquis. The grand house is set overlooking the sea near Portsmouth. I need a wonderful name for this exquisite home–a Pemberley reborn if you will, so put on your thinking caps.
If your name is chosen to be used, you’ll receive a special “thank you” on the acknowledgments page and a signed copy as soon as the book comes out. I look forward to reading your suggestions!