A New Hero Emerges

Ok, I admit it. My new hero looks remarkably like Gerard Butler.

But that’s because he possesses the qualities I want for my current WIP, TOUCH OF A ROGUE. I like the fact that, while handsome, his face is not perfectly symmetrical. There’s a clearness in his eyes, despite the obvious penchant for trouble glinting in them. And the bit of scruffiness just begs the question of how fabulously well he’d clean up.

I know a good deal about my new hero. He has 3 hard and fast rules about women he takes to his bed. They must be enthusiastic, slightly jaded and most of all, married, so there’s no possibility of entanglement. He may act the rogue in public and seem to be living off his brother’s largess, but behind the scenes, he’s not the wastrel he pretends to be. He’s the driving force that keeps his fraternal twin brother’s earldom afloat. He manages the holdings and directs the fortunes of the Mead estate, but does so through intermediaries in order to keep his own secrets.

He has a gift, you see. One he takes pains to hide. When he touches a metal object, he receives a flash of insight into the previous owner and the history of the object. And warnings of danger. He has a reputation for “acquiring objects of intrinsic value” for those who engage his services.

But I haven’t settled firmly on his name. I know his surname is Preston because he’s cousin to my heroine in TOUCH OF A THIEF (the psychometric gift is an inherited thing!) He’s technically a commoner since his brother inherited the earldom from their uncle instead of their father, so no Lord “Somebody” for my hero. He’s simply Mr. Preston, but his brother’s peearage grants him access and acceptance by the Upper Crust.

His middle name is Aubrey. It suggests a soft underside to me. I like it, but not enough to make it his first name. For that, I want something more solid. More substantial.

I’m torn between James and Richard.

The trouble with James is that is ends in “s”–always problematic when you start adding possessives later on. And I’m not wild about “Jim” for short. “Jamie” is already irretrievably claimed by Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser. I won’t go there. Readers would hate it.

Richard is a good strong name with plenty of hard consonants, something I appreciate in a hero’s name. “Rick” sounds a bit modern for 1857, though. I greatly fear “Dick” was the diminutive of choice for Richard then. I can’t have a hero called “Dick.”

What do you think? Do you have a different suggestion?

21 thoughts on “A New Hero Emerges

  1. Jane L says:

    Ok here are some of my fav#39;s! br /br /Jadon,Grayson,Lyndon,Ransford,Darrus

  2. MiaMarlowe says:

    Anonymous–Since I#39;m a Maxim fan on DANCING WITH THE STARS, your suggestion resonates with me!

  3. MiaMarlowe says:

    Joelle–I think you#39;re onto something. Since his twin is Jerome, a quot;Jquot; name seems to be in order. br /br /And I do not believe there is such a thing as too much caffeine.

  4. MiaMarlowe says:

    Jenn–Jacob is tickling my ear a bit.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When I read this a name quickly came to mind. Maxamillian, or short Max.

  6. Refhater says:

    Forgive me for tossing this many suggestions all at once. I think I#39;ve had a bit to much caffiene this morning.br /br /Josiah, Jordan, Joel, or Jerold (pronounced Gerald.)br /br /br /Best of luck!br /Joelle

  7. JennJ says:

    What about Stephen Aubry Preston? Or Jacob Aubry Preston Sounds like a very interesting fellow! And my my he is a handsome one! ;)

  8. MiaMarlowe says:

    Heather–Jack works almost every time it#39;s tried. Jack Sparrow, Jack Bauer, Jack Ryan . . . the list goes on. It#39;s strong, percussive and undeniably male.

  9. MiaMarlowe says:

    Renee–Griffin may not work for this story, given the parameters I#39;ve already set. It seems unlikely my hero#39;s parents would name his twin for a saint and give him the name of a Welsh mythical beast, but it#39;s a very worthy name for a hero. Thanks for raising it on my radar for a future work.

  10. Heather D says:

    I really like the name Jack. It sounds good with Aubrey and Preston and it is a strong name. I agree with you that if you were to lengthen the name it would need to be spelled quot;Jacksonquot;. br /br /Owen was actually the first name that popped into mind, but I don#39;t think it sounds all that great with Aubrey

  11. Renee Vincent says:

    Hmm…well I doubt you are going to find Griffin as a biblical name or even in the Victorian period. It#39;s a Welsh name…br /Oh well…can#39;t wait to hear what you call your GB hero. Good luck!

  12. MiaMarlowe says:

    Marcy, you always send my mind off in new directions. Thanks for the suggestions.br /br /The custom of using a person#39;s first name was pretty rare in the Victorian era. Lords were known by their titles, often even referred to as such by their wives. Lady Sheridan would call her husband Sheridan, or Sherry if it was a harmonious union, even though she#39;d know his given name was George.br /br /True to the time, most people will call my hero Preston–his last name. His intimates might have a nickname for him. Only his lover or his mother might use his first name. Or I might have to find an obnoxious great-aunt for him as well! br /br /But I need to know his name because it#39;s how he thinks of himself.

  13. Marcy W says:

    Theo came to my mind (either Theodore or even Theophilous), but then I realized that with Aubrey as a middle name, the initials spell TAP. Now, I don#39;t know whether that#39;s a modern thing only or not … but, assuming he went to the usual boarding school, wouldn#39;t his fellows be likely to do something with initials? And so many letters can turn _AP into words: BAP, CAP, LAP, etc etc. Just something to consider … br /br /I agree, though, that Aubrey isn#39;t right for the first name; it is too #39;soft#39;. But maybe that#39;s why he would bypass it and use his middle name?! That allows for someone (his cousin, or an obnoxious great-aunt) to call him #39;Aubrey#39;, which annoys him, or embarrasses him, or whatever . . . Then choose some kind of off-beat saint#39;s name (like Theophilous) for his middle name, which he prefers to use precisely because it IS off-beat. That tells us right away that he#39;s independent, and doesn#39;t mind being, and seen to be, different from everyone else. I#39;ve got some saint#39;s names to suggest: Bartholomew, Benedict, Jude, Lazarus, Nathanael, Zachariah. — Grist for your mill . . . . names are so much fun, and so important!

  14. Jane L says:

    I like Jacob, he looks like a J character!

  15. MiaMarlowe says:

    Unless I spelled it quot;Jackson.quot; ;-)

  16. MiaMarlowe says:

    Jane–Thanks for the suggestion, my friend. I think Jaxon would have stuck out among other Victorian names. Jo Beverley, whose Georgian characters often have medieval names, says if you give a character a name unusual for his time, you need to be sure to explain why. The only thing I can come up with for Jaxon would be time travel.

  17. MiaMarlowe says:

    Deb–I used to teach 4th grade, so grammar is something about which I#39;m picky. There. Wasn#39;t that nicely grammatical?br /br /Jack always works for a rogue. And Edward is good and solid. br /br /Since my hero#39;s brother#39;s name is Jerome, I wonder if Jacob would work. Especially since the biblical Jacob was also a fraternal twin. Hmmm…

  18. Jane L says:

    Jaxon Aubrey Preston,

  19. MiaMarlowe says:

    Renee–(Love your name, BTW. It#39;s my youngest daughter#39;s middle name.) Griffin has a tingle of paranormal about it as well. Thanks for the suggestion. Let me do a little search and see if it turns up in the sea of Biblical names so common in the Victorian era.br /br /Since you asked to be contacted, I#39;ll add you to my newsletter list, if that#39;s ok. It#39;s a double opt-in, so ignore the email if you don#39;t want to be included. I#39;m still in the process of switching the account from Emily Bryan to Mia Marlowe, so you may receive the email from Emily.

  20. Deb says:

    James would go well with Aubrey and Preston, but I know what you mean about the possessive s quot;thing.quot; Ha, that was my grammar review lesson today for my 5th graders!br /br /What about Jonathan, Jack for short? That sounds like a rogue#39;s nickname.br /br /Edward? That seems like a solid mid-1800s name.br /br /Good luck!

  21. Renee Vincent says:

    James and Richard are definitely strong names. I see your conflicts within the choices you#39;ve made. While I was reading this post, a name shouted at me, but not sure if it will have the same effect with you.br /bGriffin Aubrey Preston/bbr /br /Anyway…its just a suggestion. Take it or leave it. But I however will be putting this book on my TBR, especially since you have used GB as your muse for the hero. So excited!br /br /Please let me know when it comes out.br /rv at reneevincent dot combr /br /All the best!

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