Monday, 26 July 2010

Promise Virtual Blog Tour: Guest Post by Kristie Cook + GIVEAWAY

Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming not just Kristie Cook kind blogger friend but also the wonderful author of the soon to be released (on July 30!) fantastic new paranormal debut novel Promise!!

Kristie's official Virtual Blog Tour kicks off today and Ex Libris is her first stop, and I'm even happier because Kristie chose to tell us about a topic I've always been fascinated with: how do authors name their characters? So please let's give Kristie a warm welcome! (and read on for details of the Great Promise Scavenger Hunt and the giveaway)

Character Names and Serendipity
by Kristie Cook

As a reader, I always wonder how authors come up with their characters' names. Do they mean anything? Or do they just like that particular name? Did they spend a lot of time researching or did they flip through a phonebook, or these days, a baby-naming site, and choose something at random? Or perhaps they made them up?

As a writer, my characters' names are meaningful. I spend loads of time researching the primary characters' names to come up with just the right one for each character…except the main characters (MCs), which I'll get to in a minute. Every name has to have the right origin, the right meaning and the right feel. Some of my smaller characters are named after people in my life, just to add some fun for them. I let my first group of readers choose what kind of creature they would like to be and I'll eventually weave them into the story in future books, although it's just their names – everything else is fiction.

You would think I would spend the most time on my MCs' names, right? After all, they're the most important of all. But I didn't have to. It was pretty freaky, actually. Their names definitely have the right origins and meaning but it's one of those strange serendipitous kind of things.

I'll start with Tristan. Ever since "Legends of the Fall," I've loved that name. My husband wouldn't let me call our last baby Tristan, though, so when it came time to name my male MC, it was one of the first ones I checked on the name-meaning sites. It means "inner tumult," which was perfect for this MC. I couldn't have come up with a better name for him. I was immediately in love.

Then there was Alexis. When I was pregnant the first time (18 years ago, now!), Alexis was the name I wanted if the baby was a girl. I had a boy. Second time around (17 years ago), the baby was another boy. Still no Alexis. Third time around (15 years ago), I was sure I would finally have my baby girl. I would finally have my Alexis. My grandmother even made her email address based on "Lexi." Alas, I had another boy. And we were done. No girls for me. I would never have my Alexis.

We had a dog named Lexi, but she became deathly ill at just over a year old and we had to put her down. I gave up after that. And then I started writing fiction again and this story came to me.

Both the MCs were "she" and "he" for a while, but at some point, when I realized this story was actually going somewhere, I decided they should have names. I knew what the MC would become and what she was already showing signs of. She is a defender or protector of souls. I fought my urge and desire to name her one of my stand-by favorites and went to the site to look up names that meant "defender" or "protector." It had to have ties to Greek or Latin.

So I typed in "defender" and clicked the button to look up names with that meaning. The search results page came up. My chin hit my chest. My eyes bugged. My heart skipped a beat and my breath hitched. I silently stared at the screen for some time. "No freakin' way," I thought. And then I said it aloud to an empty room. "No. Freakin'. Way."

The very first name and the only female one on the results list: "Alexis."

My hand shook when I finally clicked on the name for more details, trying not to flip out or get too excited yet. But there it was: Greek/Ancient Greek origin, meaning "helper or defender." I finally had my Alexis. And that was one of the early signs that I knew this was really going to happen. I was meant to write this story and Alexis was meant to be my "daughter," but just in a very different way and 13 years later than I expected.

Because she does feel like a daughter in some ways, it kills me to do the things I do to her. I love her dearly and I hope you will, too.

Wow, seems it truly was destined! Thank you Kristie ofr telling us about this "behind the scenes" naming :-)
I'm always intrigued by names, their origins and meanings, and even while reading Promise I was curious to see if the characters' names were chosen on purpose because of the hidden meaning of their names, so imagine my surprise (and satisfaction) when I researched Alexis and Tristan and learned what their names meant!

Title: Promise
Author: Kristie Cook
eISBN: 0984562109
Pages: 368
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions, LLC
Release date: 30 July 2010
For more information visit I Have Promise
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise…but not all promises can be kept.

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.

Promise is the first novel of the Soul Saver series, which explores how damaged a soul can be before it can no longer be saved and how far we will go to protect the souls we love and those we do not. This first book introduces Alexis and Tristan and their trials and tribulations to come together. Their union is the Angels’ first step as they prepare for the war for souls to enter the human realm.

I was one of the few lucky ones who got an early review copy of Promise and let me tell you, it surpassed any expectations I had, it was wonderful!  Here is my Twitterized review for now: "Promise is a fantastic epic love story. The paranormal Romeo and Juliet. Better than Twilight!!"

Find out more about Promise and its sequel Purpose at their own site: I Have Promise and learn more about Kristie at her official website.

Watch the great book trailer of Promise and read an excerpt of Promise here.

Don't forget that Kristie will be touring the blogosphere this week, follow her along  for your chance to win a signed copy of Promise and a matching bookmark and join the big Promise Scavenger Hunt for more fun and even more prizes!

GIVEAWAY details:

Kristie has offered 1 personalised copy of Promise and a signed bookmark to a lucky commenter! Yay!

All you have to do is:

1. Be a follower of Ex Libris
2. Leave a question/comment to Kristie
3. Leave you e-mail address so I can contact you if you win

Giveaway open internationally and ends on 2 August 2010.

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