I have an empty slot today on Wednesday Writers, so I’m going to talk about how my characters got their names in my Inspirational romantic suspense The Nun and the Narc and give you a peek at how Sister Margaret Mary and the hero Jed met.
In some ways I feel like my characters told me who they were going to be. Sister Margaret Mary was originally Mary Margaret O’Connor. When I changed her from a missionary to a novice, I added the sister to her name. But when the hero, Jed, came on the scene he kept calling her Maggie, a name she hated, and she told him so repeatedly. But he wasn’t listening to her, or me who kept typing in Sister Mary Margaret. So I eventually obliged and changed her name to Margaret Mary. I thought it would less confusing for the reader for her to refer to herself as one name and the hero to be constantly reversing her names.
Jed’s name was a bit of a surprise, too. He’s introduced to the reader as Jed Barringer, but when he gave Margaret his undercover name, he threw me a curve, calling himself, “Bond. Jed Bond.” As I wrote those three words, I kept hearing the lilt of Sean Connery saying, “Bond. James Bond.” Apparently so did the good sister, because the name unhinged her. I got such a charge out of the scene where he told her his undercover alias that I just went with it, and I’m glad I did. His undercover name It provided a lot of humorous moments in between the suspense and action of the book.
Here’s the scene where Sister Margaret Mary learns the hero’s undercover name. I hope you enjoy it!
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The Nun and the Narc
By Catherine Castle
The rear window glass erupted into the car’s interior, punctuating his words. The man fired at the attackers through the shattered back window.
“Shot?” Her voice rose an octave. “Oh, dear Lord in Heaven, what have I gotten into?”
“Trouble, Lady.” He fired off another round. “Big trouble.”
Margaret slid deeper into the front passenger seat, grabbing the door handle as the car careened around a corner.
I’m going to die. In a car crash. With a strange man. Heart pumping madly, she let go of the door handle just long enough to cross herself then grabbed it again as the car swerved. A guardian angel would be good here, Lord. And make it Dale Earnhardt! They swerved around another corner and she held on for dear life.
Oh, Mother Superior, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m not good nun material after all. Who else in the convent could get themselves into a mess like this?
“Are you a drug dealer?” she asked as they whizzed by a stand of woven tapestries.
The car swerved to the right, barely missing a burro. “That’s a need to know answer.”
Margaret braced herself against the seat when they careened past the animal. “Under the circumstances, I need to know.”
The man didn’t reply.
Margaret felt her temper rising. “Who are those guys and why are they after you?”
“After us,” he corrected.
Us? Panic scrabbled at her insides. Will people think I’m part of his illegal plan? Mother Superior will kick me out of the convent for sure.
“I haven’t done anything,” she protested.
The man ducked as a bullet shattered the left rear window. Margaret let go of the door handle and covered her head.
“Lady, you’re guilty by association.” He threw his arm over the seat and fired off a couple more shots. He cursed then spit a question at her. “Who are you anyway?”
“You first. I’d like to know I’m going to be dying with. What’s your name?”
“Bond. Jed Bond.”
A frantic giggle bubbled up inside of her at the familiar lilt of the phrase and his English accent. “And I suppose you’re in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Jed Bond,” she said.
The giggle changed into a crazed laugh, a defense mechanism from her youth. She’d learned that if she appeared fearless when her two older brothers razzed her, they derived little pleasure from torturing her. The ploy had saved her on many occasions.
Jed stared at her as if she were insane. If the truth were known, she did feel a bit crazy at the moment. And lightheaded. And out of control. She hated being out of control.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
“You don’t know?”
“Why don’t you tell me, Miss . . . whoever you are?”
“Margaret Mary O’Connor. Sis¾” Her introduction changed into a scream. “Look out!”
About the Author:
Catherine Castle is a multi-award-winning author. Her book The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award.
Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, attending theatre, and writing and directing plays with her husband at their church. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her newest book, a romantic comedy with a touch of drama entitled A Groom for Mama, releases September 2017 with Soul Mate Publishing.