While we all know 2020 was a terrible year, I made friends through social media. Kate Lansing is one of my new friends, and she has graciously stopped by for a visit.
What’s in a Name?
What’s in a name? Yes, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, yada yada yada. But in general, I’ve found that names carry weight. They can add depth to characters, offer an opportunity for humor, and bring fictional worlds to life.
For example, one of my favorite things to learn is what people name their pets. It’s like a snapshot of their personality and instantly tells me something about them. Are they foodies with a cat named Baguette? Comedians who dubbed their dog Horse? Or book nerds that celebrate their favorite wizard by constantly calling for Gandalf? (My cat’s name is Maple, btw, in case anyone else harbors similar curiosities).
So, in the writing of my Colorado Wine Mystery series, it figures I spent an inordinate amount of time coming up with names. For characters (Parker Valentine being the protagonist), Parker’s winery (Vino Valentine), her cat (Zin, short for Zinfandel, naturally), and the handcrafted varietals themselves.
For the fictional wines, I leveraged alliteration and the picturesque setting of Boulder, Colorado, while also **maybe** having a little too much fun with puns.
There’s the Chautauqua Chardonnay that becomes infamous in the first book, Killer Chardonnay, based on one of my favorite parks in Boulder, with hiking trails, climbing, and even an amphitheater (where I once heard Stephen King speak!).
Along those lines are the Pearl Street Pinot, based on the quirky outdoor mall, Mount Sanitas White, an ode to one of my favorite hiking trails, and even Ralphie’s Riesling, named after the local college’s mascot (go Buffs!).
In the second book, A Pairing to Die For, I introduced the Jail Break Red, a blend Parker perfects during harvest while simultaneously trying to prove her boyfriend’s innocence. And another personal favorite: What Happens in Viognier.
The third book in the series, Mulled to Death, comes out in October, and there’s a lot of attention on the Snowy Day Syrah, fitting since it takes place at a ski resort over a weekend getaway.
If you had your own winery, what would you name the varietals? Do you put as much thought into names as I do?
Author Bio: Kate Lansing is an award-winning short story author. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and a chair-napping tabby cat named Maple.
Buy links for A Pairing to Die For:
Penguin Random House: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/621061/a-pairing-to-die-for-by-kate-lansing/
Kate, thanks so much for stopping by. Our Westie is named Heinz. My young son named him after Heinz Ketchup and his favorite football player at the time, Hines Ward.