A TRUTH by any other name should smell as sweet
As an author I want to give my characters ideal names. They deserve the best. They deserve names that represent who they are at their core – a DNA signpost that stamps every human with a fingerprint like a unique snowflake amongst a sky of wannabes.
I faced a curious dilemma when my own name, Veronica, was perfect for the reincarnation of the ‘Mona Lisa’. Would readers assume the character Veronica Lyons was my alter-ego? By that, I mean, a more significant shadow of ‘I’ who naturally inhabits any characters who have incubated under my skin? Because, there is always a subliminal ghost of an author’s ‘self’ lurking between the lines of a story.
Unquestionably, the ‘Mona Lisa’ has one of the most recognized faces in the world. But the Lisa in my story, ‘SECOND LISA’ is on the warpath. She has been misidentified as the wife of a silk merchant. For five-hundred years she’s felt mortified, captured in spirit by her famous half-brother, Leonardo da Vinci, trapped inside the most famous portrait in the Louvre.
On the 500th anniversary of her death, Lisabetta Buti has a small window of opportunity to
The ‘MONA LISA’ has no intention of remaining anonymous but she needs an advocate to prove her true identity as Leonardo da Vinci’s sister. Who better than the reincarnation of herself, Veronica Lyons, a troubled single mother also in need of recognition and her autistic son who craves an identity in a world that dismisses him as flawed?
Is Lisabetta truly Leonardo’s half-sister? Or are they twins born five-years apart?
Genius and anonymity meet as allies in a story that gives ‘THE MONA LISA’ and her descendants a chance for well-deserved facelifts in the present century. A century that professes to celebrate the equality of every man, woman, and child’s potential greatness.
So, no, Veronica Lyons was not my fragile doppelganger, thinly-veiled, in need of attention.
And I simply couldn’t pass up her name because…
NO OTHER NAME SMELLED AS SWEET
The name ‘VERONICA’ is the English translation for the Latin veritas icona. ‘verity’ + ‘icon’ (iconic image) = the cryptic anagram,‘TRUE FACE’. In other words, a name hidden in the open, and no artist loved hiding clues in the open more than Leonardo.
What about the name of a fictitious street or town? Don’t they deserve a little creative camouflage?
When you’re an author you’re in charge. It’s an act of literary goodwill to bequeath your characters a magic cloaking device and the therapeutic means to overcome an IDENTITY CRISIS.
INSPIRING EXAMPLES from HARRY POTTER of NAMES with EXTRA MEANING:
LITTLE WHINGING > whinging means complaining with attitude
PROFESSOR ALBUS DUMBLEDORE > ‘dumbledore’ is an early modern English word for ‘bumblebee’. J.K. Rowling imagined him walking around incessantly humming to himself. ‘Albus’ is the Latin word for ‘white’ – a frequently used symbol for good which marks the character out as an enemy of the ‘dark lord’.
HAGRID > references the mythological term feeling haunted or ‘hag-ridden’ after a visitation from a witch in dreams.
“O! be some other name.
What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
by any other name
would smell as sweet.”
from ‘ROMEO & JULIET’
Have you found the ideal name for a character?
Have you used an anagram to hide a secret personality trait?
Have you created a name that resonates as clue?