That’s a Familiar Name

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!


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