The last step before I start writing the actual series was to come up with the names of the characters. As this series is around an entire town, I had to come up with the names and types of characters for the various business the town will have.
First a list of all the business were created along with the type of person that would own it and work in it. Once that list is finished a rough estimate of how many characters would need names is compiled. Obviously it won't be a complete list as more businesses would be added over time, but it was a good start.
Now comes the fun part, naming the characters. To do this I go to both the Internet and a baby names book I have. As this is a regional series I did searches on some more traditional southern names like Betty Sue, or Bobby Joe. But at the same time I also choose names that I think fit the characters the best.
Choosing a name is a very subjective thing. For the first book I used Zane and Aidan as I have a fondness for the names. But there are certain characters that I choose a name for the personality it represents to me. An example is Jesse, one of Zane's best friends. The name, for me anyway, represents someone who is a lot of fun, which Jesse is in spades.
As I fill each character's name on the list, the characters start to talk to me, insisting I tell their story. Now that I know their names, I'm able to do just that.
I hope you enjoy this series.