Posted by: selenafulton | June 26, 2012

What’s In a Name?

This is my first guest blogger. I am very pleased to welcome, Lynn Cahoon.


What’s In a Name?
I spent months agonizing over what to name my son.  It had to be something that would be strong, yet approachable.  What my first husband and I settled on was a mouthful – Charles (family name) Alexander (what I wanted) R. (for Robert, my dad).   Adding in the long English surname, and the tiny baby had most of the letters of the alphabet represented in his name.
Of course he goes by Alex.  Always has, always will.
Thank God he wasn’t a girl. I had no names chosen. And my husband was pushing for Shirley Ivy.
Ugh. (Not to offend any Shirley’s or Ivy’s out there.  LOL)
When I started writing, I noticed I had the same issue with naming my characters.  Getting the perfect name, the perfect fit for who these fictional people were took me longer than plotting the story.  Still there are times when I name a character and half way through the book, have to go back and change the name.
Like the book where the Grey family owned a dairy?  Grey Dairy Cheese just didn’t work.
 Or the time my heroine’s love interest was Ken.  Great name, except she was in the first book and her name was Barbara.  Barb.  Barbie.
Yeah, my hero and heroine were Ken and Barbie.
So when my editor asked if I was writing under a pen name, my answer came swift and sure. No.  In a way, I am writing under a pen name.  I reinvented myself when I left home, taking on my middle name only.  I’ve been Lynn- just Lynn- for twenty years now, and my family still puts a space before the Lynn when they are talking about me.
I’ve got a pen name set up if I ever start writing hotter than my current sweet heat level.  But right now, I want people to know I, Lynn Cahoon, wrote a book.  And THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is available on all the fine digital sales sites on your computer.
Tell me your story.  Do you love your name?  Or if you could, would you reinvent yourself with a new name, new life? 
Growing up in the middle of cowboy country, Lynn Cahoon was destined to fall in love with a tall, cool glass of water.  Now, she enjoys writing about small town America, the cowboys who ride the range, and the women who love them. Contact her at her website –
Blurb for The Bull Rider’s Brother
Rodeo weekend is the start of the summer for the entire town of Shawnee, Idaho. On a girl’s night out, Lizzie Hudson finds herself comparing her life as a single mom with her best friend’s successful career when James Sullivan, the cowboy who got away, walks his Justin Ropers back into her life.  Seeing him shakes Lizzie’s world but James is in for an even more eventful weekend, learning he has a son.  James has enough on his plate trying to manage his brother’s bull riding career.  Can he learn to redefine family and become part of Lizzie’s life before she gives up on him and marries another?
The Bull Rider’s Brother is a series contemporary romance about Lizzie Hudson, a single mom who wants to keep her life just the way it is, thank you.  The problems you know are less scary than the problems you don’t.
When James Sullivan comes back for the town’s rodeo weekend and finds out that his high school sweetheart had his child, six years ago, Lizzie’s world is thrown into turmoil and she must decide if safety and certainty are worth giving up on a chance for love.  A love that an emotionally damaged James may never be able to return, breaking her and her son’s heart in the process.
Buy link:  (also available at Barnes and Noble and i-tunes.)



  1. I like my name well enough. It’s not super common and is easily pronouncable. It’s funny, you are the third Lynn I know who opted to use Lynn as their main name. One was a Linda who hated the name Linda, and the other was like you – preferred her middle name of Lynn to her first name (I don’t even know what her real first name is).

    I’ve rarely changed character names. Most of my stories have evolved out of writing prompts and exercises, and I use the first name that pops into my head in order to not slow down the flow of the writing. I almost always think “that’s not a good name, I’ll change it later.” But if the exercise evolves into a full blown story, by the time I get around to thinking of changing the name, I’ve grown to know the character by that name and I don’t want to change it. Guess I’m just a ‘go with your gut’ kind of gal.

    And I agree about Shirley Ivy – ugh! Either one by themselves is fine, but they do not go together at all! 🙂

  2. Hi Maura – thanks for stopping by. I’m so interested in how people pick their characters names. When its wrong, it just feels off. And of course, that affects my writing.

  3. I use a pen name since no one can spell my real name. And it’s not like it has strange letter combinations. Folks just think they know what to write because they’ve heard names like it.

    I try to stay away from trendy character names.

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