Monday, June 23, 2014

What's In A Name?

I graduated high school in 1977, way back in the dark ages.  Our class keeps up with each other fairly well with mini-reunions, Facebook, and email.  It seems we’re always getting together for something, and the ones that show up always have a blast.

This past weekend, a group of us got together for a “55 And Still Alive” Birthday Bash.  It was held at the country cabin getaway belonging to one of our members.

We had a blast!

There were some members of the Class of ’77 that didn’t realize that I was a writer!  I was asked about what I was writing, what got me started, etc.

Then, the big question that came from those that had read some of my stuff:  “Why did you kill off XXXXX XXXXX in [insert story name here]?”

Some of my classmates didn’t realize that I was using names of our graduating class as characters in my books.  Those that know realize that I’m just using the names, and that the characters have nothing to do with real people…I just needed a name, and I explained that it was no different than flipping through a phone book and choosing a random name.  I think of it this way:  I have a male/female character that will do this and appear in this many pages…then, I thumb through my high school yearbook and pick a name!  I do it for two reasons:  1) it’s quicker than thumbing through the phone book, and 2), it honors my classmates and reminds me of my humble beginnings.

I like every single member of my class, and this is how I choose to show it.  I share their names with the world, and, while you, as the reader, may not know which characters are members of my Class of ’77, I do.  And I’m amazed at what we’ve all accomplished!

Meanwhile, pick up a book from somewhere:  online, or the library, or a bookstore…and…

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M. Bilderback)

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