|Killdeer from Nightshade City|
Illustration by Omar Rayyan
For me, I think names are extremely important when it comes to my characters. I painstakingly pick each one out, some have a personal meaning (Vincent Nightshade, Vincent is my son's name), while others are purely for effect (if Killdeer doesn't sound evil to you, I don't know what does!). I think names are just as important as the world your characters exist in.
As for titles, I went back and forth briefly on what NIGHTSHADE CITY would be called. At one point, I really liked The Rats of Nightshade City or The Rats of Nightshade. My husband told me no way! He said Nightshade City has a lot more muscle to it and I should go with my first instinct. I think he was right... ;)
So, how about you? Do you think names are important? Do you think Harry Potter would have been as successful if he was Hank Putt? Would the Artemis Fowl series be such a hit if it were entitled Artie Feldstein? Would Redwall have wowed the world if it were called Cute Mice in an Abbey?
xoxo -- Hilary