Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tidbits- What's in a name?

Ok, so my first tidbit is from my first novel, Love Beyond Time. (No, I often don't pick the titles. The publishing company does. And, although I've been known to bash the titles, from a marketing standpoint they really are effective).

ANYway. I began writing this book when we lived in Atlanta for a short time. I had just read a time travel novel by Jude Deveraux, (A Night in Shining Armor, if you're interested), and I was totally enamored of the landscape around Atlanta--all the plaques everywhere that stated what had happened there in that very spot--so I decided to try to write a book myself.

When I first started the book, my heroine was a doctor named Claire Elizabeth. Loved, loved that name. As I progressed with the book, (over an embarrassingly long period of time), I came across a series of books I thought looked absolutely wonderful. The third in the series, Voyager, was newly released, so I backed up and read the first two books. Alas, imagine my dismay to realize that the books were about a time-traveling nurse-turned-doctor named: Claire Elizabeth. The series is the now-famed Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Amazing, amazing books.

*Sob*

I was distraught. But as my character was a time-traveling medical worker, I didn't want to be a copy cat, even though it really was entirely coincidental.

So I changed Claire's name to Amber. It worked, but it was SO HARD to change the character's name in the middle of the writing. I didn't think of her as an Amber. It was sillily painful. Now enough time has passed, (and truthfully I'd have to reread the book to really remember it well), that I can think of her as Amber.

I did resurrect the name Claire, however. She became an archaeologist in my third book. :-)

5 comments:

Jeni said...

I just read 3 of the books in this series. I couldn't put them down. I was really thankful to have the next book so I didn't have to wait to start another fantastic story.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Aw, thank you! I'm so glad you liked them, Jeni. :-)

Cheri J. Crane said...

Nancy, shortly after my first book was released into stores, it was brought to my attention that there was another book entitled, "Kate's Turn," on the market. The other "Kate's Turn" shared the story of a ballerina, written for the junior high age crowd. I contacted Covenant in a panic and they just laughed. "We must be onto something if we picked the same title," I was told. I was also assured that all was well since my book was "Kate's Turn," by Cheri Crane, and it contained a very different storyline.

I suspect there are a lot of coincidences that take place in the writing world. =) And for the record, I love your books. You are not a copycatter.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Thanks, Cheri. :-) Regarding titles- it's so true that they repeat all over the place. Around the same time I released Echoes, there were a couple of other Echoes out there. One of those was Maeve Binchy, so I figured I was in good company. ;-)

Amy said...

I absolutely loved these books, and how funny that you wrote a book with the same name as someone else, that always scares me when I try to jot down ideas, did someone already write this? Will they think I've copied them???