Every now and again someone on Twitter will talk about coming up with character names. Most of my names, honestly, get pulled out of thin air. But it occurred to me today that I do have one very minor character in the book I’m currently writing whose name has a story behind it. On the off chance that anyone’s interested in that story, here it is:
As everyone who knows me knows, my day job is in the produce department at Walmart. Part of that involves stocking fruits and vegetable and part of it involves getting rid of the boxes they came in. One thing I really do like about Walmart is that, at least in my department, we throw very little away. We donate almost-out-of-date food to the local food pantry, compost things that are too far gone to donate, and recycle just about everything else. Part of that process — the oldest part, in fact — involves a huge metal monster of a squisher machine called the cardboard baler.
On the front of our cardboard baler there is a metal plate with the name of the company that produced it and three more names on the line beneath it. Like this:
Vernon, Al * Clearfield, Pa * Yering, Nv
And I know you all see this and immediately understand exactly what it says. But for MONTHS, every time I took cardboard back, I would read this sign and think, “I understand Al Vernon and Pa Clearfield, but what kind of a name is Nv Yering?!?”
So, while working on this current book, I had a minor character who needed a name. I was thinking about the character while I was crushing cardboard and so was born Firefighter/Paramedic Yering.
I haven’t said as much in the MS, but his first name’s Nv. 😉