I was asked this question by Samantha Henthorn, and I realized I had no idea how many readers are interested in knowing the answer. If you are one of them, I invite you to check Sam's website. If you want to read something humorous and well written, check her books too. Enjoy!
Hi! My name is Nico and I’m a writer. Throughout my life, I’ve been called also Nicole, Niki, Nicu, but somehow Nico has a warmer touch to it. So, Nico, it is. It is all about feelings, you know.
Let's see how I came up with some of the names from my novels .
Magnetic Reverie & Reverie Girl:
The idea for my first novel struck me one day. It didn’t have many characters but I had to decide on the names as otherwise, it would have made it difficult, right? I couldn’t just go »she« and »he« as at one point not only the readers would be confused, but I would be the more confused one, the author. I didn’t think much of the names when I started. I did pick up Ana as the name of my main character. My mom’s name is Ana and I find it a really beautiful name, full of purity. It felt so smooth writing Ana whenever the main character came into the scene. I don’t recall now what were the other characters’ names but I’m sure I’ve changed them all.
You know, when I first started writing I didn't even think it will be something that it will turn into a novel. I just penned down the beginning of something that later on will become my debut novel. When the story was evolving and the characters were being defined, as I didn’t want any of the people I had in my life to think there are any correlations between my work of fiction and my private life, I had to deal with the name thing. Ana, as much as I love this name, had to be replaced. I can’t write a bisexual/lesbian novel with some steamy scenes having one character named the same as my mom. Do you agree? Still, I had to replace it with something as smooth and soft so after some thinking it became Lana. Problem solved. The other characters were a tad easier, still not quite smooth. I didn’t just snap my fingers or took a three minutes break and came up with them. No. Having in mind that the story takes place between Slovenia, Croatia, and the USA, and all the twists and wonders that are not clear for the reader right at the beginning, I had to deal longer with the name for my second character. She was a woman from Slovenia, so her name had to sound Slovenian and American at the same time. And here comes Claire. Well, Claire is the American version while Klara is the Slovenian one. There is a perfectly fine explanation for that in the story and to me, she’s mainly Claire. The other characters got random names, still, I usually prefer short ones and I’m trying to avoid having very similar names so that the reader does not get confused. As I’ve said earlier, I’m trying to have all the names of my fiction works as different as possible from the people I know. Still, it can’t always be done easily as we do get to meet quite a lot of people in our lives. So here comes the claim: »This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.«
ADHD: Life is Beautiful
I cherish and hold dear to my heart all of my books, as they are my children, my creations. This one, being a true story, hits a higher place. The names though, except for mine, could not be used. As I mention in the introduction: »Some places, names, and identifying details have been changed in order to maintain the anonymity of other.«, I couldn’t expose my friends' names so I had to come up with substitutions.
While I wrote the book, I have used their real names and only replaced them before publishing. I played in my mind for a few days with several names as they had to sit right with me. My friends, a mother and her son, became Peter and Eliza.
The real Peter didn’t like the name I gave to his character and he asked me to mention in the book that the main character got the name against his will, hence without his approval.:) He made me laugh and his remark was totally in line with the content of the book. He wasn’t laughing, though.
In conclusion, there are many stories behind a character’s name and, we authors, don’t have often the chance to talk about it, so thank you, Sam, for the opportunity.
MAGNETIC REVERIE: Amazon
REVERIE GIRL: Amazon
ADHD: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Amazon
This is an excerpt from Gabriel's book review. He named his review 'Who is it this morning?'
The short answer is: Greg, Claire or none, all the situations being confusing for Lana at times. Sometimes the reader gets confused if they don't pay enough attention. I was told. LOL. I am amazed and blessed each time I get to hear your opinion.
'Look for the line, “I felt like she was my ____________ while Greg was my ____________, ”' says Gabriel and I wonder how many of you would know the answer.
"This wonderful story gives the film Inception a run for its money. Lana keeps waking up in two different countries, with two different lovers, not knowing which is a dream and which is real. Is she with Claire, in Slovenia, or her husband Greg, in the U.S? Lana’s dreams about Claire seem as real as her life in Washington, D.C., with her husband Greg. When she’s with Greg all she thinks about is going back to sleep to be with Claire. “It was the morning and it was time to wake up. I looked around to see which bedroom I was in.”
No mistake about it, Lana is in completely new territory, as she has never been with a woman before her “dreams” began. She is not familiar with the attraction, sensations and feelings that Claire arouses, though she is quite familiar with the language, city, and less-openly expressive country in which she was raised (Slovenia). The two women eventually go on holiday around the country, fall deeply in love, and Lana is overwhelmed with her reactions. “Her eyes were amazing. Her voice was such a pleasant melody to the ear. I kept thinking about her in a way I never thought of any other woman. Was I feeling butterflies?”"
I am often asked how did I come up with the idea for my first novel, Magnetic Reverie, the first book in The Reverie series. It was years ago, I was traveling by train from Ljubljana to Zagreb, where I worked at the time. It was a two-hour trip and usually, I would read, admire the view, listen to music, deal with job emails or sleep (when I was traveling at a very early hour). But that day, in October 2013, I didn't do any of the above. Out of nowhere, an idea was struck! I picked up a pen and wrote it down in my notebook. That was the beginning of my first novel.
I used to write here and there in the past, but nothing to a length of a novel. I was so excited about it. I didn't even ask myself questions: Why did I get this idea? What did that mean? No. Even though I had never thought I would ever write a novel, the first thing I did when returned home was to write some more. Next two or three days in a row I continued writing in the evenings after work, and I came up with 15-20 pages. Then, I had to stop. It wasn't because the idea left me. Or that I've got bored. Or that I thought this wasn't for me. Not at all. It was because I was too busy with my day job and I didn't have time to continue.
Luckily for me, the initial idea stood by. A few years later, I moved closer to the beautiful city of Šibenik, Croatia, on the magical coast of the Adriatic sea. Being close to the sea was what I wanted at the time. With its proximity, and having the time on hand I continued writing my novel. And finished it within few months. The story essentially travels back and forth between the main character Lana’s romance with her husband Greg, and a mysterious woman in Slovenia known as Claire. While one of the relationships appears to be based on reality, the other one only comes to Lana in her dreams. Throughout the story, Lana is emotionally torn between her two loves: a handsome, loving and supportive husband and the fantasy woman of her dreams. As I was living in Slovenia when I’ve got the idea for the book, both of my main characters were Slovene. While developing the plot I felt I should include Croatia too, hence my characters had a vacation in Šibenik and the surroundings. The descriptions of the places though were not added just as mere filler. They were integral to the storyline and weaved into the powerful emotions which the characters were experiencing.
For one, I was perfectly aware of what inspired me the most. It was the beautiful transcending places I lived in. The places that I visited at that time not only offered me great views, relaxation, peace of mind but also inspired me. I had to include them in my novel. I wanted my readers to get to know about this part of the world. I wanted them to see the beauty through my eyes and if they wouldn't believe me, at least to come and see for themselves.
Reverie Girl is the second book in The Reverie series. I started writing it at the same location. While it began with a trip to in India, and I did use a lot from my own traveling experience, then it continued with a holiday in Croatia. I was still living in Croatia by that time. While still working on my book I moved back to Slovenia. It was funny to see how the events moved to those location too. And everything fit again perfectly. At the time, I wasn't aware but looking back I can tell it.
My latest book Lessons in Life: Achieving a better you through self-reflection was entirely influenced by the events that took place in my life, people I've met, emotions I lived, lessons I've learned, and places that I visited. I know that life itself is my main inspiration for writing and that my ideas come from my experience combined with imagination, especially when I write fiction.
I wish I could write a book in every country of the world as I am sure that each and every one of them would inspire me differently. Hopefully, I will never be stuck for too long in a toilet or in an elevator as I am not sure what story I would come up with. LOL. You know what they say 'When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.'
"...if the stones that we walked on could talk, they would surely tell our story." - Magnetic Reverie
"I really enjoyed reading this book. And, I suspect all fans of the Self-Improvement genre will love having a nibble on this one also! LESSONS in LIFE: Achieving a better you through self-reflection, is a very well written life improvement book. This book is intelligent, wise and packed to the rafters with practical common-sense advice. It becomes very obvious as you read through this page turner that the author is imparting her wisdom and understanding as to what happiness and success really means. It’s an excellent guide for putting things into perspective.
Profound thoughts are explained here in the simplest of terms. That's all I can say about this book. It is difficult to write a more objective review because the impact the author will have on you will make you see life and its problems in a wise and practical way. The book should NOT be read - it should be absorbed and reflected upon.
This book has helped me clarify my thinking, process my feelings, and make better decisions. If you are you ready to stop drifting and design a life you love, this read with help you on your journey. The author has put her heart in the pages of this book and will encourage and give hope to the reader. So many wonderful and courageous people share their experiences through books, and I thank this author for sharing hers.
The overall tone was simply imparting knowledge, personal experience and wisdom in a gentle and generous way. Her words will help to better equip you to interpret and handle life in a whole new way, which in turn will bring peace, love and joy into your life. If you are looking for inspiration and encouragement in the face of serious issues, this would come highly recommended from me.
No matter what your situation is today, this book will put you on the right path to better things. I’ve been around the block a few times myself and even I found this read to be very insightful. This wonderful new book will show you how to properly tune into life and the simple rules you must follow to achieve this. This by far is one of the best Self-Improvement books I’ve read in a long time. The author must be commended for her time and effort for producing such an insightful book. Also, the writing style is friendly which makes for an enjoyable read.
LESSONS in LIFE is a wonderful read that will leave you feeling like a better person for having read it. It's an impressive work for author Nico J. Genes and I'll certainly be looking forward to reading more from her in the future. I would highly recommend this perceptive and intuitive read. A well-deserved five stars from me.
Read review HERE
"In hope of a world, that does not celebrate the fake & the cold
In hope of a world where true emotions can be uphold
In hope of a world where truth is told
In hope of the world where sugar coated abuses are not sold
In hope of a world that does not force you to fit in & fold
In hope of a world where tears are allowed to unfold
You are not told to fake happy when your heart can no longer hold
In the hope of a world that doesn’t go numb & cold,
While faking positivity & not being bold
In hope of that world where you & I can be true to our core
We are not judged for being human
And not expected to be a bot, running on a computer code
Let the beauty of true emotions and the warmth of real unfold
Sweet, sour, bitter, happy, sad, high, low, cold
Sincere bonds and true connects
Let us not turn the world into a fake emotion(less) zone"
by Vanashree Yadav