What’s In A Name by Jillianne Hamilton
I’ve always enjoyed creating my characters. Deciding what the character looks like, their
personality traits, their hobbies and interests and, of course, hunting for the perfect name.
When I’m creating a character, sometimes a character’s name will even inspire what the
person will be like. Or sometimes a personality trait will inspire the name. Or a name will just
pop into my head randomly.
The name of my novel’s hero, Molly Miranda, happened that way. It just popped into my head.
I’ve always liked the name “Miranda” (for a first or last name) and “Molly Miranda” had kind of
a nice flow to it. I also like the double M—it’s very Marvel Universe. I decided to keep the
double letter for the initials of her “alter ego,” Betty Bruce. The name ‘Betty’ is a reference to
‘Bettie Page,’ the famous fetish model from the 1950s.
Although I never say it in the book, Molly’s middle name is “Georgia.” This is a reference to
Georgia Nicolson, the character from my favorite YA series, Angus, Thongs and FullFrontal
Snogging. That series has a very special place in my heart.
The second character I came up with was Molly’s employer. Audrey is named after Audrey
Hepburn. For the Audrey character, I wanted to take another famous woman from the same
timeframe as Bettie Page. Someone classy and stylish like the character. And who is more
classy and stylish than Audrey Hepburn?
Molly’s love interest Nate had so many different names during the writing process. First he
was Finn but then I realized that name is way overused in fiction. Then he was Cole, but then
I realized I probably shouldn’t use a name too close to “Colby” (my fiancé’s name). For a while
he was Mark. It’s usually not a good idea to have characters who share a scene to have the
same first initial. I settled on Nathan, Nate for short.
Molly’s wildcard partner is named Rhys. He’s Scottish so I looked up the most common
names in Scotland and fell in love with that name. With that name in mind, Rhys just
appeared in my brain fullyformed: a handsome smartass who enjoys driving Molly crazy.
As for Molly’s stunning best friend and accountant, Ruby… Well, I just like that name. It suits
her. Since she helps Molly with her criminal deeds, I gave her a proper last name for a proper
Do all character names need to have some symbolism behind them? Nope. If they feel right to
the author, then chances are they’ll feel right to your reader.
Jillianne Hamilton’s debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, is out now on Kindle, Kobo and iBooks. Click here to get your copy via Amazon.
A huge thank you to Jillianne for this fabulous guest post. To find out more about Jillianne and the Molly Miranda series visit her website. ♥
Professional, experienced contract burglar.
It’s not exactly something you can put on a business card.
Molly Miranda has made a successful living from “acquiring” valuables and delivering them to
clients who pay buckets of cash for her unique services.
So what if she has to lie about her lavish lifestyle in Manhattan and her frequent trips out of
the country? Molly has everything under control.
Things go astray when she knocks boots with her charming roommate right before taking off
to Scotland with an untrustworthy wildcard on a job assignment that doesn’t go quite as
It doesn’t help that this new partner-in-crime is super annoying. And attractive…
Join Molly on her hilarious adventures as she dodges bullets, trespasses, wears
disguises, and steals her way into trouble.
Jillianne Hamilton is a writer and graphic designer. She studied Journalism and Interactive
Multimedia in college and her writing has been published in The Truro Daily News, The
Sackville TribunePost, Macleans OnCampus and the PEI Writes 2013 Anthology. Jill grew up
in Nova Scotia and now lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast.
She enjoys corgi GIF animations and chocolate cheese cake. Learn more about Jillianne at