It seems I have shot myself in the foot again.
It only seems that way, because I’ve been bitten by time. You’d think, given my time-travel novels, I’d know better.
In April 2016 I released a post, “By Any Other Name…? No, I Don’t Think So”, where I confessed my shock and surprise at the fact that I had used the name Rhys for four of my heroes, and Alexander for three of them.
That was in 2016.
When I starting setting up the plot for V-Day, the last book in the Vistaria Has Fallen series, I pulled up the original series proposal and reminded myself that the hero for this book was Cristián, Duardo’s little brother.
I looked at the name, my heart sinking.
I’ve used the name before, of course.
I checked into it, using the list I built that I mentioned in the post, above. I still maintain it, adding new heroes and heroines with every book I write.
You might think that I’d remember all of them, and I do, but there are 147 entries on that list. Each hero I create is completely distinct from all the others, so even though I might choose (at first) a name I’ve used before, because he’s a completely different character from that other hero, the duplicate names don’t tip me off.
I have to check the list to make sure.
So I checked the list for Christians.
One of the heroes in Bannockburn Binding is Christian (Lee to his friends).
Cristián was just another variation of the same name, but I was forced to use it even though by now it feels a little cliched. However, that’s because time bit me.
The original proposal for the Vistaria Has Fallen series was written in 2003!
Back then, I had not used any variation of Christian as a name, anywhere. I blithely tagged the hero of the fifth book as Duardo’s little brother, Cristián, then got the green light to write the series.
And, of course, Cristián appears in the second book—which is now Prisoner of War—which locked the character name in. It was published and out there.
So I was stuck with the name, even though I don’t like repeating myself. I don’t think I could have changed it even if I went mad and re-edited and republished all the books just to adjust his name, because Cristián was already a person in my mind.
People are attached to their names. As I mentioned in the article about names (linked, above), I have two Alexanders and they are utterly different from each other. I never mix them up. Alexander in the Destiny’s Trinities series is redheaded, fiery, and is terrified he’ll bring destruction upon those he loves. Alexander in the Kiss Across Time series has been alive since the eleventh century, began life as a Fatimid Muslim and converted to Christianity, and is super, super smart–a scholar and introvert.
For the same reason, taking Cristián’s name away from him would change his character, too.
So Cristián got to keep his name.
V-Day, which is Cristian’s story, comes out in October, but is already available for pre-order everywhere but Amazon. Click here to check out the book, read an excerpt and browse the series.
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