In my original post about road names, I explained that road names are a nickname of sort, one earned through the motorcycle club. In CLAIMING HIS NEED, you learned the origin of Gates’ nickname and read as Kaija received her honorary road name of Princess. And while that’s all well and good, occasionally I get asked about their real names. So today, let’s move away from road names and discuss how I named these characters.

Lorenzo Martinez de Caballero

Ah, my Luke. You know, he’s been Luke in my head since the first time he showed up. I originally gave him the road name of Gates thinking he would be a computer expert (Gates as in Bill Gates…original, I know). But as his character developed, he became my warrior. Quiet and serious, he’s the protector of his den. The Gatekeeper.

Once he finally told me more about himself, I realized he needed a very specific name. One that stood the test of time, that offered up a hint of his past, and that stayed true to his heritage. I’d already established his age (approximately four hundred years), so it was just a matter of research into Spanish history to find the perfect name. I needed one that made sense to shorten to Luke, and a surname that told me something about him.

In a church record from the Navarre region of Spain, I found a family with the surname Martinez de Caballero. Caballero means Knight in Spanish, which is perfect for our Gates. Lorenzo is a classic Spanish name that listed Luke as a nickname. So there you go – a little studying was all it took.

Kaija Wariksen

Kaija came blasting into being one day completely uninvited. I first saw her as her wolf—a pure white creature with eyes that refused to let me go. I loved her on first sight. When picking a name for her, I knew my choice would also affect her family members. I needed a surname that fit them and fit the region.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has a large Finnish population, so those surnames are prevalent. I found record of a Wariksen living in the region from over a hundred years ago. Somewhere in my research, I found a reference that the name Warikssen meant either white or snow, though I can’t find my back-up link, only my notes. Kaija is the shortened name for Katariina, which means “Always Pure.”

Kaija Wariksen, in my head, is Pure White. Just like the wolf that introduced herself to me. She’s a mere 56 human years old, still a young one in shifter terms, and is the darling of her family. Some readers think I wrote her as this virginal princess, but they’re wrong. She’s not virginal in the least—in fact, her yearly mating-season “partner” had only just left the pack the year before after finding his mate. No, she wasn’t a virgin when she met her mate, she just had no interest in bedding Chinoo. He’s kind of an ass.

For more on character names, check out these posts.
What’s in a name…Road Names
What’s in a name…Rebel & Charlotte