Friday, October 23, 2009

What's in a name? Possibly a prize!

Hello, kind readers of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist! My name is Indy, and I own Margot Kinberg, keeper of this blog. Right now, Margot’s busily working on her third novel, Dying to See You, and frankly, she could use some help. So I’ve decided to step in. Margot has created a character for this novel, but she can’t think of a good name. That’s where you come in. Since you’re crime fiction readers, I’m sure that you all have good ideas for character names for a mystery novel, so I thought I'd have a contest to let you help Margot choose a name. In a minute, I’ll describe the character for you, so you can think of the perfect name for him. Then, I’ll ask you to leave a comment with your choice of name. Margot and I will read your suggestions for names, and I will pick the name that best suits the character (Margot cannot be trusted with something this important!).

The winner will receive a signed copy of Margot’s first novel, Publish or Perish , and Margot will use the winner's suggestion for a name in Dying to See You. So if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at creating a character, here’s your chance!

Here are just a few things Margot wants you to know:

1. You’ll have until 31 October to leave your comment, so if you can’t think of a name right now, that’s fine.

2. I will announce the lucky winner in a future post, so be watching!

3. We know that there are mystery fans all over the world, so don’t worry if you don’t live in the U.S. If you are the lucky winner, Margot will mail your prize to you wherever you live.

4. As you think of the perfect name, please keep in mind that Margot isn’t going for parody or lampoon here (she actually has no sense of humor). Try to think of a name that really suits the character.

OK, here is the character’s description:

This character is a white male, approximately 45 years old. He’s of medium height and build, but sturdy. He’s got slightly thinning salt-and-pepper hair and is clean-shaven. A professor of criminology, he’s married, but has no children. When it turns out that his wife has been having an affair with a friend of his who turns up dead, he is a major suspect in the murder. He turns for help to his friend, Joel Williams, whom he met in graduate school.


Good luck, and thanks for your help! I look forward to hearing your ideas!

27 comments:

  1. Read the description and here's the name that popped into my head: Stephen Beardsley.

    Elspeth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indy, my crystal ball is telling me that the 45-year-old professor is named Herbert, Marvin, Braxton, or Angus. His last name will be a whole other challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indy it's so nice to see you taking control of things when your human is not up to the challenges that life throws at her. And you're so cute too.

    I read your query then went to do some housework and I was washing dishes and pondering Margot's character the name Carter Barclay popped into my head. So that's my entry.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elspeth - I like that name; It's got a nice cadence to it. I'll definitely tell Margot about it.

    Bethany - I like those names because they aren't common names. Everybody is a Tom, John or Sam, and your choices are different. I like that.

    Bernadette - Thanks for the compliment! Margot thinks I'm cute, too : ). Thanks for your suggestion. That name has a nice flow to it and it sounds like a professor. Thanks for taking the time to help us out!

    Cheers!
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Though I take second place to no one in my love of dogs (and donkeys), the only one I normally correspond with is Randolph, so let's keep this between ourselves, Indy, if that's okay. Now, something distinctive but credible. The naming of names is much trickier than may be supposed. For a first name, I am thinking perhaps Selwyn or Sheldon, for an arcane reason known only to myself. And for the surname, Bernays, for a reason even more arcane than the first one. Yes, I like it. Selwyn Bernays? Sheldon Bernays? I like the first a touch more, but I think it might strike the American eye as odd. Sheldon Bernays I also like and it might be a safer choice. I leave it all in your good paws.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who says his last name should begin with a B?

    I see him as professor Alex Drysdale.

    NB: great challenge :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Indy!

    What a nice dog you are, helping your human!
    Good dog!

    My suggestion is Ulysses Crall.

    Ulysses, because his father was an academic and named his son after Ulysses the Greek.

    Crall is the Americanized spelling of the Low German name Krall, also a nickname for a lively or cheerful person, which he might not be :).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Philip - Please don't worry; I won't tell anyone that you posted. It'll be our little secret. I like your ideas for names very much. You're right that Selwyn is less "American" than Sheldon, but it's still an interesting name.

    Dorte - You're right; there is no reason this character's name has to start with a "B." Your choice of name has a nice rhythm to it, and I could certainly see a real person with that name. Thanks for helping us out!

    Christine - Of course I'm a good dog *Wag, wag, wag*. I like your choice of name, too. There'a something quite professorial about it and I really like the background on the name. Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Okay, I know this guy. His office is down the hall from mine and his name is Jered Carr. Believe me, he's your man.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Patti - Thanks for your suggestion. I even like the spelling of his first name - it's unique. If Margot is willing to pay for the travel, I'll have to come and visit you and meet your office-mate. : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your contest! I'm going to tweet it now.

    I'd help name your character, but I've got a similar character that I'VE got to name, so I think I'll keep my name to myself. :)

    Sweet doggie!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

    ReplyDelete
  12. Elizabeth - Thanks for your support : ). It's really hard when your human pet is at a creative standstill! Thanks for tweeting about the contest. Margot needs all the help she can get! And thhanks for the compliment; Margot thinks I'm sweet, too!

    Cheers,

    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  13. Indy, I think that you are going to have a tough time choosing from among all of the great names that are sure to be submitted. It will take quite a bit of digging and pawing and nosing around, but I know that you are up to the task! Here is my idea: Henry LaSalle.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Robyn - Thanks for that great suggestion for a name. It has a nice sound to it, and I can see a professor with the last name of LaSalle. Also thanks for your faith in me. You're right that this is going to be a very hard decision!! I'll do my best, though. Fortunately, Margot won't be making this decision; she could never choose among such great suggestions.

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Margot,

    I am a silent reader of your blog.I am from Malaysia.I am a fan of Golden Age Detection/Mystery(GAD).

    I have found your blog from Kerrie's blog.She reviewed your book sometime ago.I read the review and isntantly I know you have written the book in the classic mystery mould.

    I have searched your book to buy it online in ebay,abebooks and amazon but the price is so expensive(hardcover).I said to myself to wait for the paperback version(hopefully it will be published in paperback).

    Why I love this blog?

    Every GAD lovers love to read a mystery with a twisted plot.We appreciate writers who really good at plotting and CARE about development of the plot.The characters are also important plus the setting.

    Your blog has slice up in detail the aspects that are important in the writting/reading the detective books.As far as I know,I haven't stumble on any blogs that has done this kind of thing yet.

    Because of this particular reason,I have promoted your blog at GAD yahoo forum on October,16 2009 in the hope that my fellows forumners will visit your blog and enjoy reading your blog as much as I do.

    You can see it by clicking the link given below:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GAdetection/messages/21665?l=1

    This is my first comment in the hope of getting a chance of winning this book(being honest).

    My suggestion will be: Professor Daniel(Dan) Markham or Machen or Peterson or Newman. It sounds good for a professor.

    I hope you like the names,Margot. Whoever wins(if it is not me),I am sure you will pick the best and it is the best among the best because the names given by others are very good names too.

    Thank you so much for your kindness by giving your book for free to your potential fans.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Best Wishes,
    Sixret from Malaysia

    ReplyDelete
  16. Opps...Hello Indy!

    I forgot to greet you.Hope you won't bark or growl at me.By the way you have a shinning coat on your body.:)

    Best Wishes,
    Sixret

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sixret - Thank you so very much for your interest in my blog and for your kind words. I'm so glad that you enjoy the blog and that you get something out of it : ). Also thanks for passing my blog along and promoting it. That's very kind of you. I love classic mysteries, too, so it's nice to meet someone else who also does.

    Your suggestion for a name is interesting and clever, and I appreciate that you took the time to comment. Your name has a nice sound to it, and certainly seems like a good professor's name. Thank you again for your interest!!

    And don't worry - Indy won't bark or growl at you : ). I'll tell her your kind words about her coat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Radford Charlton springs to mind. Professor Radford Charlton.
    What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glynis - Thanks for your idea! Radford Charlton is very "professorial," and the first and last names fit together nicely. I'm glad you think this is fun - so do I!

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Indy,
    While not lend your name to the professor? He could be called Professor Indy Mantooth and was named for the state of Indiana where his mother's family settled.
    Or what about Denton Darius Devorah. Known as Professor D by the faculty and nicknamed 3-D by his students.
    Best of luck on finding the right name.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello, Canyonson - You know, with as cute as I am, and as scintillating a personality as I have, I really should use my own name in the book. After all, if Indiana Jones could be named for the family dog, why can't this character? I'll tell Margot your idea.

    Cheers,

    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suspect that he may not be the dry old academic that some may think. He probably has some life in him still .... Adam Scott

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tim - How nice of you to realize that just because this character is in academe doesn't mean he's an old stick. Margot appreciates your realizing that scholars can have some life. I like your name choice, too; it's attention-getting and down-to-earth. Thanks for the idea.

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  24. So nice to meet you, Indy! And what a great guy you are, to help your human in her time of need.

    My suggestions for the character's name is Stanley Wilson.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ingrid - It's nice to meet you, to : ). That's the thing about us pets - we're always there when we're needed. I like your suggestion; it sounds like the name of a nice, approachable person, and that's what Margot is trying to go for. Thanks for your idea!

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh - I came back here to see who had won, and I see my suggestions didn't post. What a pity - I can't remember them now!

    Never mind - but a strange thing - the suggestion in the very first comment - I actually know someone who has that name!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Maxine -
    I'm so sorry that your suggestions never posted! I would have liked to read them. It is strange that you know someone with one of the names that was suggested. Small, small world....
    I'll be announcing the winner in the next day or so, so stay tuned!!

    Cheers,
    Indy

    ReplyDelete