Friday, May 11, 2012

The Name Game

by Jennifer Probst

Naming characters can be great fun to a novelist...or great pain. Readers may think when they pick up a book that the author has just named a character on a fun fling and not thought too much about it...and sometimes you are right. But most authors name their story babies as carefully as their human babies. Then jump out into the world and hope the reader approves!

When I began my series with the Steele Brothers for Decadent’s  1Night Stand, I envisioned a group of fierce, sexy men who work hard and play harder. Vegas shimmered on the horizon of my imagination, and I knew I’d like to write a series with the mystery and playfulness of the city as my setting.

I didn’t even have to think on the last name – Steele came right to mind. But I played with stringing the names together like a proud mama would and finally came up with the three R’s: Rick, Rome, and Rafe.

My goal? An image of a confident, domineering, sexy predator strolling the casinos of Vegas. Cha ching!


My heroines were quite different and named for their unique individuality. In Catch Me, Tara Denton reminded me of a softer woman on the outside, with strength shimmering in the inside. Easy. Sloane Keller burst onto the scene without a second thought to be the match of Rome in Play Me. I knew I needed an edgy name to match a fiery woman who refused to cower for any man. Good thing I made Rome stubborn enough to be her match! And finally, for Dare Me, my heroine needed to inspire a delicate lightness that would be completely at odds with her personality – a true Dominatrix. Enter Summer Preston and we have the perfect named trilogy.

Do names inspire certain images for you? Do you think about the names of the characters in the stories you read? Come by and share with me! Here’s a sneak peek at my new release, Play Me!

Professional gambler Sloane Keller is tired of dating weak willed men and longs to meet a man who challenges her dominant personality and forces her to submit. As the Queen of Cards, she’s used to making her own rules and craves the excitement of Vegas. But her inner heart cries out for someone who can be her match, both inside the casino and in the bedroom.

As the new dealer in town, Roman Steele is burnt out on women looking for a quick penny and a man to follow. He craves a woman with fire in her soul and a keen intellect who can challenge him. When his brother recruits Madame Eve to help, Rome is amazed at the complicated woman he gets to spend the night with. But when the evening is over, will she be gutsy enough to offer him forever?

Stalking is highly encouraged. For real.


  1. OMG!!!! I read the other two and LOVED them. I can't wait to read this one!

  2. Your men of Steele sound SEXY! I love picking character names. Yours reminds me of one of my all-time TV shows - Remington Steele! That probably dates me pretty well. LOL Congrats on the new release.

  3. Thanks so much Tamaria and Casea! Names are so much fun and Remington Steele was one of my fave shows!! LOL - I aodred Pierce Brosnan!

  4. We had a window salesman come to our house last year, and his first name was Steele. He was a good salesman but we didn't buy windows from him. Instead I stole his name and am using it in my current work in progress for a hot motorcycle salesman. You never know where good names are going to come from!

  5. Names are critical to me when I'm writing. I don't mind so much ones I don't like when I'm reading but they do give me a feel of what the person is like and if I have the wrong feeling, it can interfere with the story. There are some names I could never use - like my husband's!