A lot of people ask where I get my characters’ names. I actually pull names from a variety of sources. Sometimes, they pop in my head. Sometimes I use a name suggestion that someone else gives me.
However, there are four main sources that I use to find names:
Ø Baby naming websites. The one I use most often is http://www.babynames.com/. This website gives the name meanings. Also, if you know what you want a name to mean, you can do a meaning search and a list of names will pop up.
Ø Name generators, such as http://www.behindthename.com/random/. I like this one because you can plug in different nationalities, if you have a feeling for what you want.
Ø Other books. Now I won’t “steal” a unique name, but if I find a more common name that I like, I’ll add it to a list for future use.
Ø Social Security Name Index. I use this sometimes if I’m writing a story set in the real world and I have a character that needs to be a certain age. I approximate their year of birth and then look at the popular names for babies who were born that year.
I have one more “secret source”. It’s not technically a source, actually. My husband and I kept a running list of names we were considering for our children. Now, we don’t have children yet, but we’ve tentatively decided on names. I sometimes use the names I liked that he rejected in my writing. In fact, the names that we have decided on crop up in my writing . . . I’m not going to tell what they are though.