Character names come from many places. They may be those of family members, friends and neighbours, names heard on the radio or television, favourite characters in other stores (including TV shows and movies) and sometimes, they are chosen because of their meaning.
We asked Candy McMudd where she found the names for the characters in her story Throw Away Kitten. Here’s what she had to say.
For Throw Away Kitten, I wanted to keep the names close to home, so I chose to use those of family, friends and neighbours. Here are a list of main characters and the sources of their name.
Charles ‘Charlie’ Stephen McBean: This is the main character’s full name. I chose Charles because of my son Charlie, who loves kittens and who inspired me to write this book. Stephen was my father’s name. McBean is one of my son’s nicknames.
Cavell McBean: In the story, this is Charlie’s little sister. In real life, on the first day of primary, my son, Charlie, met Cavell in his class and since then, they’ve been good friends. When I gave Cavell a copy of the book years ago, she was excited because she’d never read a book with a character who shared her name.
Selina McBean: In the story, this is Charlie and Cavell’s mother. In real life, Selina was my father’s mother’s middle name.
William ‘Wil’ Hoffman: In the story, Mr. Hoffman is Charlie’s neighbour. In real life, William is my grandfather. Hoffman comes from my elderly neighbour when I was a kid. He had a huge barn, workshops and a horse.
Maudie Hoffman: In the story, this is Mr. Hoffman’s daughter. I like this name, and when I think of it, I think of my grandfather’s sister who I never met because she died before I was born. He died before I was born, too, because he was born in the 1880s.
Reading Level: The book can be read to children under six, and most children in grade one or higher will be able to read it themselves.
The eBook is available at
4 thoughts on “Where Does Candy McMudd Find Character Names”
I use family and friend’s names too. In fact, Amanda is the name of one of my granddaughters. It’s fun to use names of people you know but I team the first name with someone else’s last name.
I bet Amanda feels very special about being in all your books. Thanks for visiting.
Yes, she does. And now she has a daughter who is very much like my character. Who would have thought?
That’s sweet. These are great memories to have.