Can’t use the real name, can you? I’d really rather do that, because my novel is based on a particular one (my babysitter, actually, which is a pretty freaking weird feeling), but there are rules against that, I think.
I start thinking of names close to that original, but they all turn out sounding like church pastors or second grade teachers. I run down the list of people I don’t like that much, but that seems risky. I try to intuit it, but this is one area my intuition just goes, “Got nothin’.”
Next tactic: I ask other people in my immediate circle. My husband and I get a good laugh about last names like Killmore and Youngblood, but this is obviously too distracting and only really works for our own entertainment on our morning walk with the dog. I check with my mom who is a voracious reader and thoroughly excited by her discovery that she can buy 4 “pocket” books for a dollar down at the senior book club. She’s not sure either.
I start alliterating: Derek Durtz. Um…no. Nobody wants a serial killer with an alliterated name.
I pull up a list of ten serial killers and settle on one until I remember someone else who I really like with that name and don’t want to make their name into a serial killer name (even though the real live serial killer already did that if that makes any sense.)
I try to channel the writers of “24” because they’re AWESOME with names. Think about bars they might hang at in LA where I could go lurk and listen into their conversations over a porter and maybe they’d just bring it up. It could happen.
Sigh. Am I alone out here? Anybody got a great name for my real life babysitter serial killer?