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Naming Names

I loved naming my characters. 'Katrinka' has been my favorite girl’s name, ever since childhood. I think I first heard it in 'Hans Brinker', or something very much like it.

'Wolfe Farr' had started out as Keaton 'Keets" Farr (Farr meaning fierce or lusty).

But one grey and snowy morning when onboard a German bus, I happened to look out the window and saw a tour bus pull up alongside, with the name ‘Wolf Reisen ‘written on it. I realized at that moment Wolf(e) was the ONLY name for Katrinka's lover. (Remi) ‘Amparo’ was a perfect name for Katrinka’s father, meaning ‘a place of refuge, or safe harbour'.


‘Willoughby Nye,’ or ‘Wills’. A very good friend of mine who is now gone, had a favourite Twilight Zone episode: ‘A Stop at Willoughby’. He was going through a very difficult time in his life, and I think must have wished for a mythical town like Willoughby. 💓


'Yujana' is explained in the book but her last name (only mentioned one time) 'Prasong' means ‘desire’.

'Valentine' is another old favorite, and 'Emerson' was the last name of a major I worked with in the Air Force, as well as a 'Lt. Rigby'. Neither 'Valentine' nor 'Raphael' were given first names.

'Josef' was the name of the man (a Hungarian refugee) who gave me my first kiss.

'Hauptmann Mühler' and 'Unteroffizier Kraus' came from the names displayed on a tower directly across the street from my gym in Germany (Kraus & Mühler). I saw the names every other day for four years, as I worked out on the elliptical.

‘Bunny’ is the joke nickname of a very dear friend.


‘Milou’ was the name that Herge, the Belgian cartoonist, and creator of Tintin gave Tintin’s dog. Milou was always protecting the young journalist Tintin; "nipping at the heels of his adversaries”, just as the German escapee Milou, protected her journalist lover, until he was killed. I had a small, stuffed Milou, purchased from a Belgian train station, that sat perched on the chair across from me, the entire four years of writing my book. Le Flâneur was a very important name for me, and the original title of the book. A wandering observer of life; in the midst of everything but hidden from the eye.






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