Monday, October 10, 2011

Naming the Hero in The Christmas Child

Linda Goodnight here. Most of my characters come to me with a name, but when I began writing THE CHRISTMAS CHILD, the reticent hero wouldn’t tell me a thing! So, knowing I have brilliant readers, I hopped onto Facebook and ask for help. The hero was a seasoned undercover agent with a wounded spirit, cynical and aloof, but a good man at the core. That’s all the info I knew and all my helpers needed to come with some terrific ideas. Over the period of several days and lots of cool names that I kept for future reference, a consensus formed around the name Kade McKendrick. Perfect, I thought, for this particular hero.

So, a year later, THE CHRISTMAS CHILD, book four in the Redemption River series, is finally on the shelves. If you helped with Kade’s name, thank you! If you weren’t in on the name game, I hope you’ll check him out just the same and let me know what you think.

Thanks, friends!

Read an excerpt

One quick question: Does it bother you to see Christmas books and items this early? Or are you one of those who can’t wait to get started?


  1. People have to get serious about Christmas. What's - REALLY - Christmas for us?

    It is the birth of Christ and the celebration we will hold with families, loved ones or people we dedicate the season to (the homeless, families in dire need of TLC???)?

    If so, it shouldn't bother you to see it coming and start preparing for it.

    With the crisis here it's a good time to start buying gifts that will make people's eyes shine and you won't be explored by the seasonal avarice.

    If so, your spirit won't be bothered to see Santa because he didn't arrive too early for Christmas; he just started playing earlier the season trade.

    Since Christmas is more dedicated to the spirit in me, what best way to start preparing it than with Love Inspired books? I love that you "put" them out before the real time comes; selfishly I want to read other happy stories before celebrating another one - The Birth of Christ.

    Again, a winner cover. Congratulations!

  2. Sorry, forgot to add - that cats' pic is just too hillarious.

    Thank you.

  3. I wasn't in on the name game but that name seems perfect. I have to read this book!

    I love Chirstmas so I don't mind things being out now. I love all things Christmas and Christmas music. I think October is an okay time to put Christmas out but September is a little early even for me.

  4. Kade McKendrick definitely sounds swoonworthy!

    I actually like it when Christmas books come out early. I love getting into the spirit with a good inspirational romance. Plus, it gives me more time to read them which means I get to read more. And, it's great for people who host book clubs when there's a Christmas selection out early.

    I don't, however, like it when the material side of Christmas raises its ugly head so early. But reading an inspirational Christmas story in October just mellows the heart and sets the tone for a Christ-filled holiday.

  5. I just picked up The Christmas Child on Friday. Can't wait to read it.

    I don't mind Christmas books coming out in October...I can read Christmas books all year long. =)

  6. Oh, sometimes getting the right name is impossible. But, what's worse is getting the right name, for book four in a series, and realizing the heroine's name starts with the same letter. That happened me to in The Price of Redemption. I had a couple named Mitch and Mary. Too similar and there was nothing I could do about it.

  7. I need my Christmas books early. I have a whole stack of Christmas themed books I like to read, and it means starting in October or November to make it through them all. In Yellowstone, we celebrated Christmas in August. It used to bother me to see Christmas in October, but not any more. I saw an ad for a Christmas event throughout December, so it only made sense that they were advertising now. Being a craft person, Christmas sales in July are great for starting projects that need months of work. I finally decided that I know the meaning of Christmas and I need it all year long. There are days when I need a reminder of that sense of joy and hope, so I'll listen to Christmas music. I put up my decorations after Thanksgiving is over. (Don't want to crowd my Thanksgiving decorations.) I'm looking forward to reading "The Christmas Child."

    I hate trying to find names, though you're right that some characters name themselves.

    And I also love that cat picture!!

  8. Teresa, I love your perspective. What a great way to look at Christmas. I have to admit when people say, "I'll be glad when it's over", I wonder what happened to the real spirit of Christmas.

  9. Patsy, I'm with you. September is too early for me to get started, but I don't mind thinking about it then. When my kids were all small and I was broke, I'd start very early dreaming and planning.

  10. Kav, (love that name), I think Kade is totally swoon worthy. Hope you do too!

  11. Jenny and Judy, I like to gather my Christmas books early too and then read myself right into the season. I do the same with movies. Right now, "The Holiday" is waiting from Netflix for my viewing pleasure. I hope it's good! I miss some of the old movies that had deep meanings instead of being comedies (though I enjoy those too.)

  12. Pamela, Mitch and Mary as a couple is adorable and I wouldn't forget them. But I know what you mean. I've had editors make me change names because of this very thing. Boy, that messes me up!

  13. Looking forward to reading your Christmas book, Linda! I'm one of those who LOVES to see Christmas books out early. I'm eager to read about Kade---I really like that name. ~ And that photo of those 2 kitties---oh my! SO precious! Definitely made me smile. ~ I wanted to tell you again what a thrill it was for me to meet you in person at ACFW a few weeks ago. I have to chuckle, because it seemed that I met so many favorite authors in the Ladies restroom, LOL! (guess that was the "place to be" haha). You were so sweet and encouraging (and lovely) and I look forward to reading many more of your books. ~ Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo Moore :)

  14. I agree with Kav....I like seeing/reading Christmas books from Oct. on....but don't like seing the material side so early. I have read two LI Christmas books in last 3 days, and am very anxious to read yours!

  15. Linda,
    I so loved the photo of the kitties. My cat used to curl up in the sink. He hasn't done it in a while, and I was just thinking about that.

    I also love Christmas, and I'm always sad when I have to put away all of my decorations. The house seems so bare.

    I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  16. I have started reading The Christmas Child so I must like getting Christmas books in October. I know there will be plenty more coming up plus the old ones I like to read again. So yes, I am happy to read about Kade and Sophie's Christmas story right now.

  17. I just saw my first Christmas commercial on TV. I have your book and will read it now because I just love this series but I usually buy all my Christmas books and read them in December.

    Peace, Julie

  18. I love christmas books and its less than 3 months!
    I normally start reading them in Dec. but have read 2 so far this year.
    Of course often the books get her late.

  19. Pattie Jo, I really enjoyed meeting you, too. Wasn't ACFW great?

    Gotta love our kitty cats, huh?

  20. So glad to hear that most of you don't mind an October Christmas book. Whew!

    Merrilee, I'm sad when I put mine away too. It's a long time between Christmases, although I notice as I age, the time goes faster. lol

    Jackie and Mary, hope you like it.

    AusJenny, always good to say hello to you. Thanks for being here.

  21. Linda,
    Your hero's name is perfect. Love Kade. Next time, I may turn to Facebook for inspiration!

    I plan to get your book tomorrow. Can't wait!

    Rita looks very happy in your hands! Continued congrats!

  22. While I don't like stores going Christmas before Thanksgiving, I like reading Christmas stories any time of the year.

  23. I'm with Jean, I don't mind Christmas books any time of the year - I just don't like stuff in the stores until after Halloween! I love to read Christmas books though!

    Love the kitties pic! Reminds me of pics I used to take of my kitty when she loved to take naps in our bathroom sink!

  24. I don't mind them earlier. I have a special Christmas book basket I put them all in! It is great to reach in and grab a read.

    I just can't wait when it comes to a Linda Goodnight book though. :-)

  25. Linda, what a great idea to get input! Your readers obviously enjoyed doing it!


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