I have a confession to make, dear readers: I steal names. It started in all innocence. I was writing a book set in a Victorian academy at Christmastime, and I needed a hero name. And at the time I was also rereading A Christmas Carol, on account of how it is a completely underrated work of comedy gold and really shows off Dickens' skill with the fancy English. I'd already named my academy FitzScrooge's and given my hero the name Frederick after Scrooge's cheerful, swoon-worthy nephew (always played by some hot young charming thing in stage versions of the book) but I needed a good, strong surname.
And there, at Fred's Christmas party, was a young gentleman named Mr. Topper, who was clearly in love with one of the round young women at the party.
And so it began. But the more I wrote, the more names I needed. A few of them came on their own, out of the ether, like proper character names ought to do in an author's imagination. But some of them I had to hunt for.
And then, dear readers, I got a little carried away.
I had an idea for a plot, and I needed a good name for a demoness. I was also hungry, and needed a snack.
So I got to thinking about apples.
And then I found out that there are way more apple varieties than I ever suspected.
And I wrote a whole book, Damned if You Do, where every character is named after an apple. The dead lord, who died while battling Napoleon and now finds his soul damned to Hell for the sin of lust? His title and his given name are both apple types. The demoness assigned to punish him, who falls in love with him instead? Named after an apple. The mountain that dominates the landscape of Hell? Apple. The mortal woman who risks her own soul to rescue the dead lord? Apple.
About the only person not named after an apple is Lucifer himself. (Though he sounds like he'd be delicious.)
I'm really proud of this book. It's a little slice of me, all wrapped up in words. Unfortunately, it means I'll probably be a name thief for life—knowing my character names were interconnected made me feel like a spy every time I sat down at the keyboard.
And if anyone knows where I can buy Idared apples, I'd be much obliged.