What’s in a name, anyway? Several people have asked where the name ‘Farley Bend’ came from. The answer: I don’t know. I was pondering the idea of writing a book during my morning drive, and somehow Farley Bend was there. When I arrived at work I wrote it down on what I expected to become a list of fictional Maine towns. At the end of the day I brought the list home; it still contained just one entry.
Farley Bend? All right. Before settling on the name, I did some internet searches. I didn’t think I’d ever heard of a Farley Bend in Maine. I learned that there is a real estate broker named Farley in Bend, Oregon. That didn’t sound close enough to cause problems.
I wanted to name my main character Emily, because I like the name. Allen seemed like a good match for Emily – short enough to balance well, and pleasant. Imagine my surprise when one of my earlier readers told me she has a relative named Emily Allen! To my knowledge I’ve not met an Emily Allen, though perhaps one day I will.
I surveyed a number of people when I started creating the cast of characters to work at the Farley Bend Mill. I knew I wanted first names that could have been common during the late 1930’s, and I didn’t want to use only names of friends and family who lived during that era.
Until I started working on this post, I didn’t realize that I used first names of people I liked for many of my characters and selected first names of people I didn’t know for the villains. I don’t know anybody named Amos, nor do I know anyone who shares the first name of the villain in Volume II. There are a few names I’m intentionally avoiding because I don’t want to spend any more time than strictly necessary with mental pictures of those individuals.
Writing as therapy? Probably. It’s been an interesting experiment, anyway!