How were the character names picked for I Wish?
Picking names for characters in a book is a tough thing to do, especially since I try to avoid the names of people I know. I don’t want them to think that I’m basing a character on them.
I Wish, however, is full of characters named for specific people. I doubt I ever do that again. So here are the names and why I chose them.
Grant – Originally, I named my genie Grant for a weird reason. Genies “grant” wishes. It was just a place-holder until I learned him better and knew what his name should be. But a couple of things convinced me to keep it. Every guy I know named Grant is both cute and nice. I like that track record. Also, I looked up the meaning of the name and discovered that Grant means “great”. It was a perfect fit for the hero of I WISH.
Lacey – In my first draft of the book, the heroine’s name was Molly, which never quite felt right. My heroine was determined, fiercely independent, and intensely loyal to the people she loved. That profile described my grandmother. So I renamed my heroine after Grandmother Lacey, and that felt exactly right.
Henry – I named Lacey’s brother after Prince Henry of Wales. Just because.
Eli – Lacey’s friend (and Henry’s soccer coach) is named after Eli Manning, the quarterback for the New York Giants. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi. The Manning family is practically royalty for Ole Miss alumni. (And, yes, I use the name Peyton in another book.)
Kimberley – Lacey’s best friend started life as Adriana. But I ended up not liking the character, so I completely rewrote her. When I did, I needed a new name. About this same time, the receptionist at my family physician’s office asked me to name a character after her, and there you go. We had our Kimberley.
Crystal – Using the Social Security Administrations popular baby names website, I asked it to give me the Top 25 names for the year 1977 (approximately when Lacey’s mom would’ve been born.) Name #25 is Crystal.
Sara & Sean – the twins are named after my great-grandmother Sarah (but I dropped the “h”) and my nephew-in-law Sean (but an entirely different spelling.)