When I was a kid I never liked my name.
It's not that Anthony or Tony are bad names, I've kind of grown into them if I'm honest. There is also the fact that I've been lucky enough to have two names to choose from, which can be handy, depending on my mood, or where I am at the time of asking.
I shouldn't complain really but... I just never really liked either of them when I was a kid.
My parents are no longer around to ask why I ended up with Anthony/Tony. I never thought to ask when they were here, and now it's too late. I’ve hunted around for clues, I’ve looked at family trees but try as I might, there are no Tony's to be found.
It appears I'm a one off.
My Mum and Dad had form for original names though, my brother was nearly burdened with Perry, until my Dad realised the lifespan of a Perry in working class Liverpool was likely to be limited.
So Philip, Philly, or Phil he became, and still is.
He suits Phil, he was always a "Phil". Phil's are cool, Phil's can fight, Phil's get the girls.
Anthony's have bad hair and untied shoelaces.
Or maybe that was just me?
I was lucky with my first book, the lead character name was there before I even had the story.
I saw it one day on a street sign, cast iron, tough, and weathered.
Which grew into John Henry Rossett.
A name you can trust, a name that will get you were you want to be and god help anyone who tries to stop him.
Derek Smith just wouldn't have cut it I'm afraid.
Jack Reacher, Nick Stone, James Bond, and Harry Bosch, tough guys with tough names. These guys would never have sold perfume on a cruise ship like I used to do. Those guys would have been driving the ship, or doing something in the engine room with big wrenches and sweat covered brows.
They’ve got names that fit, no nonsense, stare you in the eye names, take you outside and rough you up names.
Names you remember, and look out for again.
Now I’ve just started my third book, it’s a week old, taking shape, and taking time but finally underway.
The problem is, I’m only a few thousand words in, and the lead character has had four names already. I keep changing them like hats in a mirror, I put a new one on, frown, adjust, shift my position, think, decide, make certain.
Then change it again.
And every time it changes, so does the story.
I don’t know why, it seems such a little thing, but as soon as the name changes, so does the atmosphere, the location, the year, the whole book.
Who’d have thought?
It’s all in a name.