I’m a month and a half away from deadline on my twentieth book, The Midwife’s Confession, and I’ve had some requests to tell you a bit about it. Those of you who’ve read my blog for at least a couple of years might remember this picture. I love it and have it on my desktop to keep me focused as I write. I originally posted it back when I first started writing this book. . . before I was derailed by a decision at my publishing house. I had to put TMC aside and come up with a new idea in a few days’ time. Ironically, I ended up loving the book that grew from that new idea, and in a couple of months it (The Lies We Told) will be in your bookstores. But now I’m working on TMC again, engaged in the story and the characters.
Set in Wilmington, North Carolina, The Midwife’s Confession is about four women who’ve been friends since their college days. They call themselves the Galloway Girls after the dorm they lived in at UNC-Wilmington. When the midwife who delivered some of their children commits suicide, she leaves behind a destructive legacy that puts their friendships to the test. Meanwhile, in Washington DC, another woman tries to save the life of her desperately ill daughter. As her world collides with that of the Galloway Girls, the women are pitted against each other in a fight for their families—and it’s a fight that may leave no winners behind.
Now, how can you help me? I’m having name problems! I named my characters long ago, but when I was on retreat with my writer buds recently, I was telling them the storyline and they pointed out that four of my characters’ names end in “a” and they were getting confused. So I think I need to make some changes.
It’s hard to change names this deep into the book. My friend, author Emilie Richards, was recently thinking about changing some names in her own work-in-progress and she said she felt as though she was trying to change the names of friends. It felt wrong. I understand that and feel the same way. However, my readers will have no attachment to the names I’m using now and I’m sure they’ll accept the characters’ new names without a problem–and it’s my readers who count. What’s most important to me is that they’re not confused as they read, wondering which character is which.
So I’ve decided to change two of the “a” names. I won’t tell you their current names so you don’t start thinking of them by the “wrong” name. Instead, I’ll describe the characters to you using their current first initial.
G is a 16-year-old high school junior. She’s average looking but has one of those personalities that draws people to her, guys included. She’s a nice girl, concerned about her friends, family and community.
A is a 44-year-old woman, the director of a missing person’s organization. She’s divorced and the mother of a 12-year-old girl. She’s down to earth and a bit irreverent. Her daughter is her best friend.
I welcome your ideas!