Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway - Home Fires (Common Law #4) by Kate Sherwood

Character Names

If you ever want to get a group of writers talking, ask them which are plotters and which are pantsers. You’ll get a group who insists that the only proper way to write a novel is to meticulously plan it out beforehand, you’ll get a group who says that planning takes all the life out of the process and creates wooden, formulaic stories, and, hopefully, you’ll get a group who says that it’s a false dichotomy and really more of a spectrum with very few writers being pure plotters or pure pantsers.

I’m generally a member of that third group who say there’s a continuum, but if I’m honest I have to admit that my own spot on the continuum is well toward the “pantsers” end. I keep trying to be a plotter, but my outlines never work out. Too many of the ideas I like best just come to me without having a place in the outline and I decide I’d rather stick with the new idea than with the outline.

Which brings us to character names. There have been times when I’ve had to think about names and really hunt for them, but in general, they just come to me. I think the name for Jericho Crewe came to me before he was even a fully-formed character. And when I had a character read his name with only an initial and realized that it sounds like the name of the store, I made his nickname be Jay just so people could call him Jay Crewe and I could snicker to myself.

For a while I wanted to call the series The Walls of Jericho but it felt like it was trying a bit too hard, and/or would make people think I was writing Bible fanfic.

The name Wade Granger just came to me, too. I think “Granger” may have come from my memories of Huck Finn, with the feuding Grangerfords and Shepherdsons. That’s a bit remote, obviously, but every time I ask myself “where’d that name come from” I think of Huck Finn, so… maybe. And I can definitely see the Grangers as the sort of family that would have a long-running and bloody feud with another family for no clear reason.

What a completely unsatisfying explanation for an aspect of my story. Yikes. But it’s all I’ve got.

Do you guys think names are important to characters? Can you think of any characters who have the perfect names for who they are or, conversely, and characters whose names just don’t seem to fit?

About Home Fires:

Trouble comes to Mosely, Montana, from the outside world. When the residents of Mosely are left on their own, they can make things work. Sure, there’s always been a militia operating up in the hills, but they were small-scale—just survivalists doing their thing—until organizers came in from out of state. Now Jericho Crewe and the rest of the sheriff’s department are facing down a heavily armed band of fanatics, and the feds are busy elsewhere.

The odds are hopeless, but Jericho swore an oath to serve and protect the citizens of Mosely. He won’t walk away from that, even if Wade Granger’s begging him to run away somewhere and finally be together the way they always should have been.

But this time, it’s Jericho who refuses to leave Mosely, even if staying kills him.

Now available from Riptide Publishing and Amazon 

About the Common Law series:

Jericho Crewe escaped from Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen and built a new life for himself, first as a Marine, then as an LA police officer. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as confusing as it was before he left.

Especially Wade Granger. Wade’s still a rebel, still a criminal, and still dangerously fascinating. As Jericho digs deeper into the town’s underbelly, he has to decide whether Wade’s the worst the town has to offer, or the only part of Mosely worth saving.

Get all four books from Riptide Publishing and Amazon

About Kate Sherwood:

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”--other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy--the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Twitter: @kate_sherwood 


To celebrate the release of all four books in the Common Lawseries, we’re giving away one four-tour-wide GRAND PRIZE of $100 in Riptide credit!
Enter at each stop on each tour (once they go live) to maximize your chances to win!
Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest.
Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 8, 2017.
Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Thanks for following the Home Fires tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. I can't think offhand, but I do get alternately giggly and annoyed when I see romance novel blurbs where the guy's name is obviously chosen from the "tough but sensitive" soap opera mode...


  2. Congrats and thanks for your thoughts about pantsers and names. This book and the whole series sound great. I love gay mysteries and thrillers, and I've got to get started on this one. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  3. Well I can see the pro and cons of both sides. Thanks for sharing how your characters name came to you =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. I don't have any specific examples at the moment but I definitely think there are times when it's clear the author is trying too hard with the names. Some of them are just so out there, there's not many sane people who would name their kids those things because. Hello, want instant ass kicking? Try this name!

  5. Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it. I've read books whose characters seem to have the perfect names. I can't remember any MC with a not-cool name but I wouldn't like to find a book with one.