Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Q&A with Catherine Bybee

From my Q&A with Catherine Bybee, author of All Our Tomorrows:
What’s in a name?

After forty plus novels sometimes the names I pick depend on what I haven’t used in the past. But most of the time I choose names that represent both the age and the nationality or background of my characters. When I start a new cast of characters, I ask myself who their parents were. Would the hero have his father’s name? If his parents were hippies from the 60’s, is the name on his birth certificate Moon Child? These two characters would likely have completely different childhoods and different challenges they would need to overcome in the story that I’m telling. If my characters are in law enforcement or the military, I have many people in the story call them by their last names.

In the case of All Our Tomorrows, my hero’s name suits both his age and his background. Male, one syllable names are often viewed as strong and capable. That is certainly the truth about Chase Stone. His deceased father was entirely too narcissistic in life to believe anyone could live up to his name, and certainly wouldn’t have given his first name to his son. At the same time, he would have wanted his son to have a strong name. A name like Bartholomew wouldn’t work. While Bartholomew is a nice name, it doesn't scream confidence and powerful.

Conversely, Piper, my heroine, has a name that feels soft. Yet she is anything but. Much like the name of her dog… (I’ll let you read the book and discover that gem).

Names are super important to my writing process. I like nicknames that my characters create for each other. As with Piper and Chase. Piper...[read on]
Visit Catherine Bybee's website.

Q&A with Catherine Bybee.

--Marshal Zeringue