Archive for October, 2018

How I Name My Characters

By Kathy NickersonOctober 7th, 2018mercyNo Comments


From the acknowledgements page of The Marvel House: Thanks to Ada Jewel for naming my characters. You launched the story on that car ride.


Naming the characters in a novel is quite similar to naming one’s children. The task is huge. What if you tell everyone her name will be Clementine, and then she is born and she looks exactly like an Alexandra instead? And, you’ve been calling her Clementine all these months. You hand-painted the giant “C” for her nursery and even pre-signed a few Christmas cards with all three of your names.

In a novel, of course, the writer can theoretically change a character’s name at any time. Except, you can’t. It is exactly the same thing. In a historical novel I’ve been writing for decades, I tried to change my little shepherd boy from Jonas to Reuben. It isn’t working. I trip over the name every time I read a section. I’m going back to Jonas.

All that to say, I’m thrilled when something comes together. During the brewing days of my new novel, The Marvel House, I gave lots of thought to names. I didn’t have the story clear in my mind yet, but I suspected names and their meanings would become important. (I was correct.) So, on one long trip with a carload of granddaughters, I asked for suggestions of character names just to pass the time.

Ada Jewel snatched up my phone and started recording the ideas. By the time we stopped for lunch, every character in this novel had exactly the right name. (Plus, we have a few left over for other books.)

A couple of years ago, those names were just blips on a screen. Today, they are so dear to me I might include Aspen or Quinn on my Christmas list before I remember they live only in my imagination. And, I hope, in yours.

You can meet Aspen, The Mighty Quinn, and the rest of the Marvel family by ordering here or by catching me at one of the upcoming events. Watch my Facebook page for details.

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Best Words from a Husband

By Kathy NickersonOctober 1st, 2018family, Marriage3 Comments


Last week, I went shopping for a black skirt and a pair of slacks. If you know me, you are aware this is a form of self-inflicted torture. I shall admit up front that I failed. Mostly because I got lost in the Christmas aisles at Hobby Lobby and used up all my time. However, I am determined to try again this week.

I did get something of great value from the trip, however. Better than the perfect skirt or a bargain on tinsel, I got the best words from any husband ever. These would be the best words from the husband of a supermodel. They are especially best from the husband of a grandmother who is trying to age gratefully, but who is failing in a few areas.

As I pulled into the parking lot at the department store, my phone dinged, and I found this text:

While you are shopping for clothes today, keep in mind when you look in the mirror you are looking at the woman I love. That woman is the most attractive woman I know. 

Yes, I swooned.  Now you understand, Dear Reader, why I am dedicating my newest novel to Wendell:

My husband, lover, partner, and friend.

Thanks for choosing me every day since 1973.

To celebrate such love, and to set a mood for this month’s soon-coming release of The Marvel House, here is a song from the famous duo of Ryan & Charity Long.


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