Naming My “Baby” Part 1

I feel like I’m about to give birth. Anticipating the release of The Reluctant Billionaire has been almost as exciting as being pregnant. Not quite the same, but just like becoming a mother, this book is the culmination of time spent carrying the story idea and characters in my head.

Like any mother who is expecting a child, I debated for a long time on what to call my book.

One of the most exciting yet challenging parts about being pregnant was choosing baby names. As a young single adult anticipating Iā€™d have children someday, I had some ideas in my head of what I wanted to name a little girl. And my husband wanted a Patrick, Jr.

When we couldn’t agree, I bought a book of baby names and started going through it. Over the course of my pregnancy, I wrote down names that I liked for boys and another list for girls. As our time got nearer, I’d ask Pat if he liked one of the names. If he said no, I crossed it off. If he said yes, I put it in a “maybe” column.

By the time we delivered our firstborn, we had a solid name decided for both a boy and a girl. After our son was born, we named him Travis. At the time, Randy Travis was a popular country singer, and I had a couple of people ask if we named our baby after him. That hadn’t even been on my radar.

For our next child, we went through the process all over again. But we didn’t agree on a girl’s name. When I went into labor with my daughter, I planned to call her Abigail. Then the doctor who delivered us was named Gail so the name didn’t feel quite right. I knew Pat really wanted to call her Holly, and most of the people we’d talked to about choices liked that name best. So we decided to call her Holly.

The third time around, we had not only Pat’s and my opinions, but our older children were seven and nine and had opinions of their own. I wanted to name a boy Tanner, but the other kids and my husband all liked the name Chad. By the time he was born, I decided I liked the name Chad better, too. So he was named Chad Tanner.

Chad was born on October 24, 2000. A couple of weeks later, the election results were so close that the ballots had to be recounted. The debris from the punches in the ballots were called chads. Dimpled chads, hanging chads, pregnant chads: they were all significant in the vote count. Chad became a popular name overnight.

With all three of my children, the names we chose seemed to fit just right. They grew into the names as their personalities evolved. Now I can’t imagine having named them anything other than Travis, Holly and Chad.

Choosing the title for The Reluctant Billionaire was both as much fun and as difficult as choosing the names for my babies. I knew I wanted Billionaire to be in the title, but there are so many books about billionaires on the market. I needed to know what it was about Liam that set him apart from the other books that I’d read. Once I figured that out, the title came easily to me.

How I named the characters is another story altogether that I’ll share next Thursday here.

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