Wednesday, September 11, 2019

STRENGTH IN LETTERS By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless #romancegems

Did you know some letters denote more strength than others?  This is something I was subliminally aware of growing up.  They were a lot of other girls at school with the same name or variation (Cathy, Katherine, Cathryn, Kathleen).  I learned at a young age that those of us sporting a K were more dynamic, more assertive, and more outgoing than our C-named counterparts. I know a Chris.  And a Kris.  Same scenario.

I didn’t think much more about it until I started reading and writing romance novels, where I soon learned naming a character is super-important.  The hero and heroine’s names are the reader’s first introduction to those characters, and a snapshot image is easily captured by the right name.  

Alpha male heroes need to denote their strong personality.  Luke.  Jake.  Ruark.  Blake.  (A lot of k’s, see?)   Around that time, I discovered a great book called YOU ARE YOUR FIRST NAME by Ellin Dodge.  Based on the numerology of the letters in the name, the book outlines typical personality traits attributed to a particular name, and suggests possible career choices.  I was delighted to look up my cop hero, Matt, and see law enforcement listed as a potential occupation.  This book is my bible when naming my characters.  The name needs to fit the personality.  It’s also been a great go-to gift for pregnant friends.

Numerology aside, the visual makes sense when you think about it.  K’s are straight.  Rigid.  C’s are soft and curvy and bend.  D’s are straight, yet with a soft side.  Damian, Darius, and Dorian are all good, multi-faceted character names.  All of my Seven Brothers heroes have a letter B name for that reason.  They can share certain characters traits, yet be very different at the same time.  They have the straight-line strength, but the softer side, which is often at war with the straight-edge of the personality.  

I’d love to know some of your favorite hero and heroine’s names and why.  Feel free to comment and share.

BLAKE’S BRIDE, book 4 in my western romance series, will be released this month and is currently on pre-order special for only 99 cents.  
Not only does Blake have a secret, letters of the alphabet play a big role in this story.
Here’s a teaser…. From BLAKE’S BRIDE  copyright Kathleen Lawless 2019 

          It was a perfect day for a wedding.  The gazebo in the town’s park was decked in yards and yards of ribbon, shiny white posts adorned with sprays of wild flowers.  Smack in the center of the gazebo, the seven Mason brothers waited in a straight line.
          Storm, alongside her fellow bridesmaid, Amanda, wiped her sweaty palm on the skirt of her frock and clutched her nosegay tightly.  This was her first time being a bridesmaid.  It was also her first time in such a fancy dress, edged in lace and all, crafted by her own hand. 
          From her vantage point, Storm watched Henrietta, the bride, appear on the arm of her long-time friend, Percival Bloom. 
          As the ceremony got underway, Storm snuck a subtle glance at Blake Mason, flanked by his brothers.  From Laura Mason, the first Mason Bride, she had learned that Blake had a secret, something she could relate to.  She had a few of her own.  If only her “big secret” was as innocent as Blake’s.  Lots of folks out west couldn’t read.  As a librarian, she was no stranger to witnessing their struggles, and happy when she was able to help. 
          After the ceremony, she saw Laura beckoning to her.  “Did you have a chance to talk to Blake, yet?”  Laura lowered her voice so no one near them could hear what she was saying.
          “Not yet.”  Already, Storm was regretting her offer to try to help Blake learn to read.  She had only met a few folks in her travels who were word blind, and eventually managed to overcome the affliction to learn to read simple words.
          “Well, there he is, all alone over there.”  Laura gave her a tiny push.  “Now’s your chance.”
          Head high, Storm nodded.   It was important she maintain control, in every aspect of her life.  Especially where men were concerned.
          “Laura said I should come ask you to dance,” she said brightly.  
          Poor Blake reminded her of a trapped animal, eyes sliding from side to side as if seeking escape.
          “Weddings make me uncomfortable too,” she confided.  “You, at least, have had some practice lately.  What with three of your brothers tying the knot in the last short while.  Do you boys really build a new cabin for each couple on the ranch?” 
          “Yes, ma’am.”  Blake swallowed thickly, his Adam’s apple bobbing with the movement.  “I’m afraid I’m not much on the dance floor, Miss Storm.”
          “Good.”  She took his arm.  “Neither am I.  Two left feet, I believe, is the expression.” 
          She schooled herself not to freeze up or flinch when she felt his hand rest tentatively on her waist.  Not every touch was designed to inflict pain.  She found a slight modicum of comforting in knowing he was at least as uncomfortable as she was.

Preorder here        

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Happy Reading!

And as 9 11 is an unforgettable day in world history, take a moment to hug your loved ones tight.  We never know what's in store.


  1. Thank you, Kathleen. I'd say your name is in perfect balance with your nature. Hugs for 9/11.

  2. This is so interesting! Of course, my son Chris might not see it that way. :-)

    1. And of course there are always exceptions, Liz. I take all this stuff with a big handful of salt, but I find it interesting.

  3. Interesting. I begin with a K and I would definitely say I am outgoing. However, my oldest daughter, Kathleen Claire, who we call Kasey (her initials are KC) doesn't quite fit that. I wanted her to be Kasey with a K because Kathleen began with a K (and it was slightly different from Casey) yet, she is extremely introverted and hated having to explain her name.

    1. I don't put much store in this Kari, but I do pay attention when I name my characters. My kids seem to suit their names, but is that luck or design?

  4. How interesting! I can see why letters with curves might seem softer. I am also a "K", and I've always loved the way the letter looks. My favorite hero names are ones that are Irish, Scottish or biblical in nature or origin. My favorite heroine names are classic sounding names.

  5. I found it interesting how I instinctively made my heroes' names (usually) short and strong, while using softer names for my heroines.

  6. What a fascinating post, Kathleen. I'll look for that book. Love the book excerpt too.

  7. Thanks, Joan. I used to take that book to class when I was teaching. Everyone spent the break looking up their significant others and kids. It was a hoot.

  8. Yes, that name book sounds interesting and fun. I recently read a book by an author I love and two of the major characters had names that began with C. I had to keep backtracking trying to figure out which one I was reading about. Love the heroine's name, Storm, in your excerpt!

    1. Thanks, Hannah. My editor wanted to know how she got her name, so I added that in after the fact.

  9. Very interesting blog, Kathleen! I hadn't thought about names in this way. Love learning new things.

  10. Thanks, Jacqui. Me too. The writer's curiosity.


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