Guest Post by Adrian J Smith
There’s a lot that goes into a name. I’m quite open about talking about names of characters and to picking them randomly as I go along for side characters,
but I never pick a main character’s name randomly. That’s particularly important in this series. James Matthews is a woman—and that’s not a common first name for
a woman. There’s even a joke about it in the first book.
James is a name that has always had a special place for me. If I was a boy, it would have been my middle name, and thus the middle initial in my author name
became a “J” and I’ve always hoped that no one would ever ask me what it meant. In the two years I’ve been writing under this pen name no one has, so I’m
counting my lucky stars!
James Matthews was supposed to have a more exotic name for a woman. She’s a bit exotic in looks and definitely does not fall into the norm. She’s a female
firefighter who happens to be a lesbian, oh, and did I mention she has a special gift? She’s not your norm, and her name becomes that.
Addison, on the other hand, is a bit more normal. I have a special affinity for any name that begins with an “A” and thus my author name and her name must begin
with a name. I also wanted a name that was gender-neutral to add a slight confusion in the beginning of book one, and a nickname for James to call her on
Lily goes back to one of my best friends in high school, someone who inspired me to be creative and to go where I never thought I could go. I needed a name,
and Lily’s legal name, as you find out rather quickly in Ashes Fall, is Alyssa. My good friend Lily in high school probably doesn’t even know I’ve named this
character after her, but I think it suits her, and she would be most excited with the turn Lily takes (although, I will say, her name is based on my friend,
the personality is the complete opposite of my friend).
Names are just as important as anything else that goes into a book. They have to fit the character, fit the personality, and they have to fit the author. A
lot of people ask whether or not they should have a pen name, and honestly, they’re the only ones who can answer that question. My reasoning was simple—keep
day job and night job separate, create a buffer for the two, and hopefully get away with writing lesbian fiction with my day job never finding out.
I gave myself a new identity. But what I’ve come to realize is I’m more myself under this pen name than I can be under my real name. It’s not something
I quite expected, but I do sincerely enjoy it.
About The Author
Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, has a generous and soft heart. She loves to rescue stray cats and dogs, as well as those who just
escape. Her hoard of animals currently includes two cats, a dog and a fish, but no children as of yet. She’s passionate about LGBT et al rights, women’s rights
and children’s rights.
AJ loves to read and write lesbian fiction, simply for the fact that strong women make her swoon and when two are involved her knees turn to jelly and she
falls head over heels in love. AJ travels around the United States, and sometimes the world, gathering up stories for her novels. Currently, she lives
in the middle of nowhere of the middle of nowhere and is rather difficult to find except on the internet, where she spends a lot of her time.
At least 10% of all AJ’s proceeds from book royalties go to Sanctuary For Kids. It’s a fantastic organization that sends money to help children around the
world. Charity and children are an extremely important part of my life and supporting them in any way possible is magnificent.
About The Book
Eleven years after the love of her life dies, James hopes everything would be normal and works to construct her reality as such. Her adopted daughter, Lily,
finishes her sophomore year of high school with nothing other than good grades, a best friend for life, and goals for the future. James, after stepping back
into the dating world, has a girlfriend with a steady, non-life-threatening job. Life is as peaceful as it can be. But a day at the waterpark with her daughter
reveals the largest crack in the façade.
And nothing can stop chaos from ensuing.
One winner will receive an e-book of Book 1 in the James Matthews Series’ Forever Burn’