The Naming and Other Shenanigans
(or How I Know Kim Kardashian is a Succubus)
by Shirin Dubbin
Author’s Note: There is a prize at the bottom of this post; it’s like Cracker Jacks!
Writers put a lot of thought into naming characters—the rhythm of the name, its diminutives, and how memorable it will be. I did the same for the main character of my upcoming book, Dreams’ Dark Kiss, but for various reasons my publisher asked me to make a change. Hm? What should it be?
Well, my mind began to wander as it often does… (One time the police brought it home after it had gotten drunk and stripped down to the synapses in the wine aisle of my neighborhood grocery store. True story.) …and I realized celebrities are actually supernatural creatures in disguise. Most are Fae—super skinny, huge eyes, never age—but there are signs of an entire gamut of the paranormal.
Benicio Del Toro is a werewolf if ever I saw one (a hubba, hubba hunk of burning lycan love). Dude, why do you think they cast him in The Wolfman? Right. ‘Cause he could do his own EFX.
Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, is obviously a vampire. What other creature could master music, graphic design, comic book writing, and hold us in their thrall with all three? He’s the new Lestat. Plus, I have a friend, who has a cousin, who has an aunt who was once bitten by Gerard at a concert and is now twice shy (and totally goth).
And I think we’ve all come to recognize Kim Kardashian is a succubus. I’m not being mean. She’s brilliant. What other creature could have sex with Ray J and siphon pop culture status clean out of him? She gained a reality show and star athlete fiancé, to boot. Genius.
Of course, the clearest indication celebrities are supernatural is in the names they give their kids. Yep. Here are a few. Feel free to classify them anyway you like. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their son Sparrow James Midnight. You just know this kid is going to be rocking steam punk goggles and flying around in an airship before he’s thirteen.
The lovely Jason Lee, star of My Name Is Earl, yoked his son with the moniker…wait for it…Pilot Inspektor (yes, that is the correct spelling). In happier news, Pilot Inspektor Lee will be appearing in the next Detective Inspector Chen novel by Liz Williams. Ok, not really but that would be amazing.
Lastly, there’s Nick Cage and his offspring Kal-El, as in Superman’s real name. Nope, the alliterative sounding Clark Kent Cage was not enough for Nick. He went back to the roots of Superman. No better way to prepare your child for alienation than naming him after an alien. [That sound you hear is me blinking copiously.] Can your own name be your kryptonite?
Author’s Note: I was going to muse on Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s choice of Apple for their daughter. Add an “I” and you’ve got Apple Martini. However, I thought better of implying the cocktail-based moniker sounds like a portent for a life rife with feelings of inadequacy and early alcoholism. That would be mean.
On to the good part, in celebration of wacky celebrity baby names and their apparent tie-in to Urban Fantasy and comic books, I challenge you to pick two of your favorite characters and name their offspring. For example: the child of Mercy Thompson, star of the Patricia Briggs series, and Eric Northman, from the Southern Vampire Mysteries AKA True Blood, might be named Volkswagen McHottie Wolfsbane. Or the daughter of Harry Dresden, headliner of Jim Butcher’s Dresdan Files, and Anita Blake, of the Laurell K. Hamilton series, could be called Criss Angel Humper Dresden.
The prize is a personalized, autographed copy of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ sublime Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, in which our hero learns his name may be the only thing real about him.
Get to posting your appellations, monikers and handles in the comments section. I can’t wait to read what you come up with. I wasn’t very creative. I changed Kiran to Ciaran, the traditional Gaelic spelling of the same name. I’m hoping you’ll show me up.
Let the shenanigans commence!
Thank you, Shirin!
You all find out more about Shirin at her website, twitter and facebook.
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