Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's in a Name? by Ada Adams: Author of Revamped + Giveaway


 What's in a Name by Ada Adams
 
Names often evoke strong feelings within us. Whether it’s the name of someone you like (I still can’t hear the name of my seventh grade crush without getting butterflies in my stomach!), or a name of that really mean girl who made up a silly rumor about you, we usually react and take notice when we hear a particular name.
Personally, when I’m writing, I prefer to bestow unique names on my characters—names that I have no association with. I want them to be blank slates that I can mold into something novel. And therein lies the challenge. How do you find names that will fit the characters’ personalities and won’t constantly make you think of other people?! Trial and error is what usually works best for me. Sometimes, I also get help from a good baby name book.

How did “ReVamped” characters’ names come about?
A long, long time ago (okay, in 2011) when “ReVamped” was just a TV show script, Dawn’s name was actually Gabrielle. I love “Elle” names, especially Isabelle. However, since Isabelle(a) was a name that most vampire book authors had to cross off their lists (whether you love her, or love to hate her, there is only one Bella, after all!), I settled on my second-favorite “Elle” name—Gabrielle. Its meaning is “strength”, and it was a very fitting name for “ReVamped”’s main character. She is one tough vampire chick, after all!
However, sometime between finishing the pilot and beginning the novel, I was cast in a film where I was to play a vampire character named Gabrielle. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was unable to commit to the film, but the experience convinced me that I needed to find a new, unique name for my heroine.
I flirted with some of my other top choices—Victoria, Scarlett, Alexis—until finally settling on Dawn.
I’ve loved the name Dawn, ever since I had encountered its counterpart, Aurora, in one of my favorite Disney films, “Sleeping Beauty”. This worked out very well, because in “ReVamped”, you learn that Dawn sshares a special connection (or two) with a character named Aurora. I love the fact that the two names are so different (just like Dawn and Aurora), but yet they are also perfectly in-sync. Dawn is actually named in honor of her mother, Zora (an Eastern-European version of Dawn), who died in childbirth. Plus, Dawn is a pretty cool name for a vampire, right? Pun intended.

The other characters’ names came about in a fairly natural way. To keep some reality intact in my rather unreal paranormal novel, I had to keep true to names and dates. Since I was dealing with a group of vampires who have been born during different time periods, it was important to research and ensure that certain names actually existed in the time periods that the characters were born in.
Sebastian was originally Alexander. In fact, he was Alexander throughout the entire Pilot script. However, once I began to write the novel and changed certain aspects of the character, the name no longer fit. Something about it was off. Very off. He just wasn’t an Alexander. I think it’s very important to feel a connection to your characters’ names, but it’s even more important that the names truly fit them. The moment I changed his name to Sebastian, the character suddenly became whole for me.
Sebastian’s name suits him really well. It’s mysterious, hot and brooding, but I hadn’t personally seen it in recent YA literature, so I had no connection to it and could mould him into whatever—or rather, whoever—I wanted. Somewhere halfway into the novel, I realized that Sebastian is also a Disney character! And from another one of my favorite Disney movies, “The Little Mermaid”. I’ve come to the realization that I may perhaps have a subconscious obsession with Disney characters. Who knows, maybe one day “ReVamped” will be a crazy Disney musical that incorporates vampires, sleeping beauties, and underwater crabs!

Ethan’s name was very easy to come by, and it fit him perfectly. It means “strong”, and his last name, Summers, is a play on the fact that he brings about some warmth and sunshine into Dawn’s life. Hunter (the aloof, washed-up 80’s rock-star) and Brooke (the boy-crazy cheerleader) were no-brainers. Sophie was also always Sophie. Her name means “wisdom” and is perfect for our demure, shy librarian. Seth, the youngest of the vampires, had been Seth from the start as well. Something about his name had worked really well for me, and stuck.

I then hit a bump in the road upon realizing that I had two secondary characters whose names started with the same letter (three, if you count Sebastian). At times, when characters have names that begin with the same letter, it can get a bit confusing for readers. I immediately threw myself into changing Sophie and Seth’s names. Sophie was very briefly a Grace, while Seth was a Kyle. However, I just couldn’t depart from Sophie and Seth. My early readers, who had read the very first draft and knew them as Sophie and Seth, also couldn’t get used to the name changes. It’s funny how sometimes names just find the character. Or perhaps it could be that, as writers and readers, we tend to get too attached. Either way, I had to return Sophie and Seth back to their rightful names.

However, sometimes, no matter how attached you get to a certain name, you do have to change it. Hannah, our perky red-headed waitress, was initially Annie. In fact, it was only until the very final draft, that I realized it may not be the best name for a curly, red-haired character.­­­ It took a very long time for me to get over Annie. In fact, she went through an identity crisis. Well, more like a name crisis. She had about ten different names until I finally made peace with Hannah. A few more drafts after that, and I was like: “Annie who?!”
In the end, I’m very happy with the names of “ReVamped”’s characters. Over the course of writing the novel, the characters had transformed from blank slates into individuals I cared about deeply. I can’t wait to explore their personalities and journeys in the sequel!



ReVamped
By Ada Adams

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.


About the Author:

"Many people sing in the shower. I, on the other hand, write scenes in my head and act them out."

At age five, Ada read her first chapter book - Pippi Longstocking. Ever since that moment, she developed an intense passion for the stories and characters found within the pages of literature.

In her career as an actress and a writer, Ada currently spends most of her days immersed in imaginary worlds. Much like the characters she enjoys playing and writing about, Ada is a martial artist with a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. She is also a big proponent of lifelong learning, and has attained Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (it aids in creating characters with unique quirks!) as well as a Master's of Science in Education.

Ada strives to bring a fresh voice and perspective to fiction. She has been writing creatively for many years. "ReVamped" is her debut novel.

She lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys adventurous nature hikes with her adorable puppies Cara and Oreo.





If having this author stop by wasn't great enough she is giving away a kindle copy to one lucky reader! Just fill out the rafflecopter below!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 comments:

  1. Hi Janiera!

    Thank you very much for hosting "ReVamped" on your blog. Have a great day!

    Best regards,
    Ada

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    Replies
    1. Love having you! Best of luck on this wonderful book. :)

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. The books is so interesting! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  4. Revamped gives us a different take on vampires from the usual. I enjoyed the way they were portrayed in this book and loved the humor throughout the story. The descriptiveness of the story was wonderful and imaginative, and the characters were well written. The author did an excellent job of creating her characters and getting inside their heads.

    ReplyDelete

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