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Naming Characters

The time has come to unveil why the lead character of my urban fantasy/superhero series (available on Amazon) is named Silke Butters.

First, a little background on how characters are named. It’s different for every writer. Some writers just have the names of their characters come to them in a dream, or whispered on the winds of legend. Some name characters after people they know in reality. And others painstakingly go through baby books and online name generators to capture the perfect name for their character as if they were naming their child. In a way, these are our children. We’ve given birth to each character, breathed life into them, and raised them to be the upstanding (or vile) individual they are. No matter how you come up with the name for your characters they should be specific to that character, especially if you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them as is the case with a series. You don’t want your character to be saddled with a name you can’t stand writing, or one that is hard to remember how to spell. Even worse is when you hear a name in your head a certain way but when readers ask you about them they totally pronounce the name a different way.

I’ve named a lot of my characters variations on names that I’ve heard somewhere before. I have a notebook of writing related resources and in this notebook, I jot down names I hear that I think would be good to use for a character later.

The name Silke Butters is such a name. The moment I heard it, I knew it was going to be used for my leading lady. However, at the time I did not know Silke was going to manifest into Karma, a kickass superhero with light blasting from her hands!

But back up…who is Silke Butters?

As writers, we take on many different jobs, and wear many different hats just to get by. I used to work at a hotel/casino gym and attached to the gym was the spa area. Guests would come to check in for various treatments to use the spa or the fitness center. I could see the check-in area through my little glass bubble of the gym and my good friend Maki (who has also found her way into the Silke series) would check people in outside. One day, Maki was going through the check-in cards when she ran across a peculiar name. She motioned me out to look at it and on the card, it read: SILKE BUTTERS

We pondered for a long while whether this was a real name or if someone had checked in under a false identity. In Las Vegas hotels, this happens more often than you think. For instance, Katie Perry once checked in as Sophie King Awesome as her clever way to throw off anyone who might be trying to find out where she was staying. Maki and I finally decided that Silke Butters must be an exotic dancer or the equivalent. That might be why I made her a supermodel. The truth is, I can’t really remember why I start Silke in the world of high-fashion modeling but what I do know is that now I couldn’t see her as anything else.

Characters are born of our creative instincts but often they take on a life of their own. The entire plot line of the Silke Butters series manifested from something else totally unrelated to what the final product now is. But I had fun playing in this world and I look forward to venturing back into it. What other way can I have someone give everybody a nickname revolving around food without sounding ridiculous? Only within the pages of a good story can you have such glorious freedom.

A mask, a makeup brush, and amazing powers. It’s all in a days work for supermodel turned superhero, Karma. Silke Butters lived within the glitz and glamour of the modeling world, until the day that world was turned upside down. Suddenly embodied with superpowers, she finds herself thrust into a world of heroes and villains, each enhanced with powers of their own. As Silke’s powers begin to grow she finds herself caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between both a subdivision of the U.S. government known as Shadow Company, and a ruthless terrorist organization known as The Sin Squad. Both entities want the “enhanced” for their respective teams with Silke as the main prize. To disguise her famous face, and protect those that she loves, Silke invents an alter ego. Karma is born of necessity to decide the fate of those who are ill-intentioned and empower others with hope. With the help of her former flame Joe Riggs, and her computer hacker friend Maki, Silke develops a heroes call-to-action to battle the dark force that threatens to annihilate humanity. Karma, the 1st in a 5 part series, blends the over-the-top punch of popular comic book stories, with the literary nuance of an urban fantasy novel. A genre-blending roller coaster ride, Karma will delight both superhero fans and fantasy readers alike.




"Original Cyn" Cynthia Vespia writes fantasy novels with edge. This blog is dedicated to all things fantasy and my author journey.


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