A question that I’m often asked by readers is how I come up with the names for my characters. For example, in Awaken I named Madeline after Madeline Island, my favorite place in the world. It’s one of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. You catch a ferryboat from Bayfield, Wisconsin, and twenty minutes later you touch ground on a rustic paradise, a place for loners who want to get away from crowded beaches and tourist traps (but who also enjoy some great restaurants and pubs).
Okay, I digress. This post is supposed to discuss how I named Gray and Dylan. It’s simple, just listen to Mr. Jones, by Counting Crows.
I’m slightly obsessed with this band and with Adam Duritz for his genius song writing. His influence is partly why I wanted to become a writer. He uses writing to tell stories and to vent and to celebrate the highs and low low lows of life. I even got to meet Adam once, at a bar in Los Angeles. I asked him, “If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three albums, what would they be?” He listed off Miles Davis, Ani Difranco, and Joni Mitchell. (Just a fun fact for you).
In the song Mr. Jones, Adam sings, “Gray is my favorite color,” which we have in common. I love the color gray; I wear it almost every day. I own about twelve gray t-shirts and ten gray tank tops and gray jackets and sweatshirts and scarves and hats. It’s a gorgeous, calming color and it looks great when it’s complimented with something bright (just like Dylan’s bright personality compliments Gray’s darker character).
The name Dylan? Easy. Comes from Bob Dylan, the greatest songwriter of all times, and also referenced by Adam Durtiz in Mr. Jones when he sings, “I want to be Bob Dylan.”
So, there you have it–a long winded explanation of where their names come from and why they are so dear to me.