Pleasance? Is that a real name?

Pleasance? Is that a real name?

Ever wonder how authors come up with names for their characters?

The way I go about choosing characters’ names will probably be different from most other authors. After all, novel writing is highly personalized. There are many roads leading to a finished novel… but they all arrive at “done”. Writers’ Digest’s opinion varies from WikiHow’s, and they both differ from mine. And that’s okay.

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My new release, Pleasance’s First Love, has a hero with a perfectly normal name–Jacob. And a heroine with the odd moniker–Pleasance.

Even if pleasance is a word in the dictionary, it’s weird. Even for Victorians.

Defintion of "pleasance". Courtesy of Google. Note the frequency of usage throughout the late 19th century and the spike circa 1870 to 1875 or so. Not super convenient, given my heroine was born much earlier than that, as her romance is set in 1878, but it'll do. The word was obviously known.

Defintion of “pleasance”. Courtesy of Google. Note the frequency of usage throughout the late 19th century and the spike circa 1870 to 1875 or so. Not super convenient, given my heroine was born much earlier than that, as her romance is set in 1879, but it’ll do. The word was obviously known.

Sometimes I don’t have to sift through census reports of a certain location in the United States. Sometimes, while researching something entirely different, an exciting option (for a name or book idea or premise or element of conflict) falls right into my lap.

That’s what happened with Pleasance.

If you follow my Articles much, you’ve noted my frequent use of newspaper article clippings from United States (and occasionally foreign) newspapers during the Victorian Era. While researching something entirely different (probably Victorians celebrating Easter) on my favorite historic newspaper site, Newspapers.com (it’s SO worth the subscription fee), I happened across this remembrance of a lost dear one.

Memorial notice

“Memorial notice” in Kansas City Gazette of Kansas City, Kansas on December 29, 1900.

FICTITIOUS?

Yes.

garden-elements-7Pleasance Greenacre” was the name selected by a writer (H. Savile Barthrop) in the year 1900 for a “Short Story of the Day”, or “Like A Tale Told”, published in numerous newspapers. It ran in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of Oshkosh, Wisconsin on December 24, 1900, and Altoona Tribune of Altoona, Pennsylvania on November 15, 1900, and Arkansas City Daily Traveler of Arkansas City, Kansas on December 27, 1900, and Kansas City Gazette of Kansas City, Kansas on December 29, 1900. The circulation didn’t stop there. This tale appeared in Abilene, Lawrence, Hays, Salina (all in Kansas)… and in Melbourne Australia… just to name a few. I selected the printing in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas simply because the printing was dark and legible.

Here it is. The sad, moral-filled, ripe with symbolism, short story of another era. One interesting similarity–Pleasance was a fair-haired blonde that sunny day in London, just as she was (because of the choice of my ‘siblings’ Monica Benton and Zebulon Benton’s authors) in Colorado, 1879.

Like a Tale Told, Part 1, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 1, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 2, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 2, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 3, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 3, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 4, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 4, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 5, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 5, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 6, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 6, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 7, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 7, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 8, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 8, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 9, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 9, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 10, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 10, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 11, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

Like a Tale Told, Part 11, published in The Hays Free Press of Hays, Kansas on July 20, 1901.

PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE

My contribution to Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series will be here in just 3 days! It’s on preorder, and will release on January 13, 2017 (those who preorder will find it downloaded to their kindle or kinde apps late in the evening on January 12, 2017!). Remember these titles are available at a steep discount of just 99¢ while on preorder, then will quickly increase to $2.99, $3.99, and some at $4.99 (I think). Each author has independently published their own book, and longer stories will cost more than the shorter novellas. At least that’s the plan.

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Introducing the REAL Sophia Amelia Sorensen…and her cookie jar The Ins and Outs of Naming Characters My Writing Process, Part 1 Pioneer Quilting Bees and Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series A Double-Topped Quilt: Remembering a Love of a Lifetime New! Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series Cowboy Quilts: Sugans–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Pleasance’s Flying Geese New Release: Pleasance’s First Love (What Did Pioneers Use for Quilt Batt?) Release Day: PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts No Matter How You Say It… Sweet Americana Sweethearts Presents: GRANDMA’S WEDDING QUILTS (on Romancing the Genres) Second Chances Romance Trope

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Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New! Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series – Kristin Holt - […] Pleasance? Is that a real name? Cowboy Quilts: Sugans A Double-Topped Quilt: Remembering a Love of a Lifetime Pioneer…
  2. A Double-Topped Quilt: Remembering a Love of a Lifetime – Kristin Holt - […] Book Description: Pleasance’s First Love Pioneer Quilting Bees and Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series New! Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series Cowboy…
  3. Pleasance’s Flying Geese – Kristin Holt - […] Pleasance? Is that a Real Name? Cowboy Quilts: Sugans–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts New! Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series A Double-Topped…
  4. No Matter How You Say It… – Kristin Holt - […] PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Pleasance’s Flying Geese Pleasance? Is that a Real Name? Cowboy Quilts: Sugans–on Sweet…
  5. New Release: Pleasance’s First Love (What Did Pioneers Use for Quilt Batt?) – Kristin Holt - […] PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Pleasance’s Flying Geese Pleasance? Is that a Real Name? Cowboy Quilts: Sugans–on Sweet…
  6. Second Chances Romance Trope – Kristin Holt - […] PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Pleasance’s Flying Geese Pleasance? Is that a Real Name? Cowboy Quilts: Sugans–on Sweet…

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