Last post I talked a bit about the inspiration for the ships and their names in my new novel, Corvette. Today I thought I’d talk about where some of the character names came from. When I have to come up with new character names sometimes I get creative and other times I have a bit of fun with the process. When I was writing this book last year my beloved Chicago Cubs were making a historic run for their first Baseball title in over a hundred years. To honor the team I decided to use the last names of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. So in Corvette, you will find two Army soldiers with those last names. One of them, Bryant is a woman and the other one, Rizzo, becomes a key player in the story and he’s actually a black man. There is one other Cubs sounding name but whose last name is spelled differently and that is Lestor. That was unintentional and to be honest, I didn’t notice it until I had finished the novel. The Cubs pitcher John Lester’s name at least sounds like my first officer’s name. Of course my FO is a woman, so the names really only go so far and the characters are usually nothing like their namesake’s. There is one other Cubs name on the bridge and that is Jenkins. What can I say, I love my Cubs. He is named after Canadian and Cy Young winning pitcher, Fergie Jenkins.
The main character of Corvette is the First Officer, Armon Vance. I didn’t directly state his ethnicity, but I wanted his first name to suggest he wasn’t your stereotypical white male lead. My captain was inspired by that Old Man of the Sea himself, Ernest Hemingway. Captain Xander’s name just sounded exotic to me at the time. But he is your basic SF tropic old white man of space. For my Security Officer, Lt Boxer I wanted her name to suggest motion and physicality. When it came time to cast my Engineer I knew I didn’t want an Irishman, so I went with a Chinese man with a vaguely Irish sounding, Qin. I knew the Captain and the Engineer had to be old friends and each were a good twenty years older than the rest of the crew.
Ship names part two. There are a couple of ships mentioned in the book that others had served on. One of them is the Lysander. I’m pretty sure there is an Admiral Lysander in one of the Star Saga numbered novels. I want to say Starstrikers. Also, the exploration ship that is destroyed early on in the novel, the Wayfinder, is named after writer Hugh Howey’s boat.
If you spot any more similarities in character names to real people my other books, let me know. I can tell you there are definitely more out there.