Writing

What’s in a Name? Part I: The Real Betty and Daisy

If you have ever written a piece of fiction, then you can probably relate to what I’m about to say: naming characters is one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. There’s a reason that word processing software designed for authors includes a “name generator” option. 

I hang out in historic cemeteries a lot, so oftentimes I’ll get name ideas from headstones. One of the best places to go for names, though, is my family tree. 

Betty Boorman and Daisy Tanner are fictional characters created for the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series, but their namesakes were very real people: my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother was named Betty Jane, and after I decided on Betty for the main character of the series, I was left needing a name for Betty’s best friend. My paternal grandmother—my Nana—went by her middle name of Madge her whole life, which didn’t really say “bubbly woman in her early twenties” to me. However, Nana’s full name was Daisy Madge, and Daisy felt like the right name for that character. 

Daisy Tanner’s name, dimpled smile, and petite little body make her seem sweet and harmless. And while she is just as sweet as the iced tea she drinks, she is anything but harmless, as Carter learned the hard way. 

Betty and Daisy have very distinct and very different personalities from my grandmothers Betty Jane and Daisy Madge. (Although, from some of the stories passed down through my dad’s family, I think Nana may have been a bit like Daisy Tanner in her younger years.) Still, it’s fun for me to see those names and remember the real women who inspired them. 

 

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