Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's in a name: Ash

names schames

Sometimes I see way too many of one name and it starts to bug me. A few years ago it seemed like every other romance novel hero was named either Damon (or a variant--Damen, Damien, etc.) or Sebastien. Seriously? I've known a few Sebastiens and they were all really annoying, not sexy and brooding at all. As for Damon, that name is strictly reserved for novels featuring romantic and/or paranormal elements.

More recently I've been noticing there are a lot of Ashes running around literary land, especially YAland. Why? Have you ever met a single person named Ash? I haven't. Is it supposed to be evocative of a chemical reaction or something?

Ash can be either a male or female, but is usually either a 1. vampire; 2. fae; 3. dashing hero[ine] in fairy tale retelling. Here are a few of the books I came up with that have characters named Ash:
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr--The heroine is named Aislinn, but in the audiobook it's pronounced "Ashling," Ash for short.
  • Ash by Malinda Lo--Lo says she chose the name Ash for her heroine because it's a retelling of the fairy tale, Cinderella.
  • Daughters of Darkness by L. J. Smith--Ash Redfern is a vampire who falls in love with a human.
  • Keys to the Castle by Donna Ball--Ash is the metaphorical prince charming in this fairy tale-esque book.
  • The Iron King by Julie Kawaga--Ash is a faery prince.
That's five books I came up with in five minutes, and I haven't even read two of them!

Can you think of any other books with a character named Ash? Or are there other names you've been noticing a lot in books lately?

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