When I started thinking about writing G&G, I didn’t have a name for the ghost girl who’d been killed by the bus. Actually, I didn’t have a full name for anyone. I only knew Killian was Killian and that that was his last name. I didn’t know his first name was Will for a LONG time.

But back to Alona (much like she’d prefer it)…I knew what she was mostly like: dead, bitchy, sarcastic, cheerleader. But I also knew she had vulnerabilities she was not willing to reveal and that much of what people did not like about her was a form of her protecting herself. (By the way, I also did not know what Alona’s secret was when I started writing, only that she had one. And my initial guess? Totally wrong.)

In my mind, she is strong, just perhaps not in the way most of us think of it (strength=heroic=nice). She has that not-so-nice edge to her as well. Defense as well as offense, you know?

So, I needed a name that would fit her. I have a baby name book and websites I peruse for this exact purpose. I also usually look up the names that were most popular in the year a character was born so I’m not naming him or her something that is out of date or wildly unpopular (unless there’s a reason for that).

But none of those methods worked for me this time. All the names I could find sounded too typical, cliched, one-dimensional. I wanted her name to convey beauty, strength and the isolation that she feels–not that she would ever admit that.

Now, this would have been back in late 2005, early 2006 when I was just starting to think about writing this book. I wouldn’t actually start writing it until February 2007. But it was simmering in the back of my brain.

At or around that same time, I would have been watching Veronica Mars, one of the BEST shows on television in the last decade. Not kidding. At some point, I noticed that the character of Meg Manning, one of the few people in Neptune still nice to the title character AND a member of the Spirit Squad, was played by an actress named Alona Tal. (I had not started watching Supernatural at that point, believe it or not, so I never saw her as Jo until just this year.)

I liked how she played Meg, showing equal parts vulnerability and strength (the same with Jo, for that matter, although Meg was not nearly as kickass as Jo) and that reminded me of this girl I had yet to name. (I swear to you, it did not occur to me until much later how close “Alona” is to “Alone,” which is perfect for who Alona Dare is.)

So, Alona Dare is named for Alona Tal. And if you haven’t watched Veronica Mars, get thee to your Netflix Queue and order up! 🙂

12 comments to “Random Facts: The Story Behind Alona’s Name”

  1. DJ's Life in Fiction
    · December 12th, 2010 at 8:39 pm · Link

    That’s really cool! I love Veronica Mars and I really enjoyed Meg’s character. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    • Stacey Kade
      · December 12th, 2010 at 9:57 pm · Link

      Thanks! I still miss that show! 😥

  2. Magan
    · December 12th, 2010 at 9:25 pm · Link

    Okay, now I want to know what Alona’s original unspoken secret was…will that be revealed?

    • Stacey Kade
      · December 12th, 2010 at 9:43 pm · Link

      You mean what I thought it was originally but it turned out not to be?

      Nothing all that mysterious, but it would have put an entirely different and way less fun spin on who she is (parents were still married, abusive father who is prominent and/or rich and very protective of the family reputation, and a sibling at home who needed help). But that was all before I started writing it.

      I just knew she had a secret. Actually, I think that’s a good writing technique to give characters’ secrets that they don’t what anyone else to know! Doesn’t have to be as pivotal as this one, but something they’re embarrassed about.

      • Stacey Kade
        · December 12th, 2010 at 9:44 pm · Link

        Uck. That should have been “that they don’t WANT anyone to know.” Typing too quickly again. 🙂

  3. Jen
    · December 12th, 2010 at 9:45 pm · Link

    I love this post! It’s awesome to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing of your books. So interesting how inspiration strikes. 😀

  4. Kim Meyer
    · December 12th, 2010 at 10:56 pm · Link

    Great post 🙂 I will have to add Veronica Mars to my to-be-watched list, right after Star Wars…

    • Stacey Kade
      · December 12th, 2010 at 11:09 pm · Link

      You know it kills me to hear you say that about Star Wars…every…single…time! 🙂 Actually, I’m guessing you would enjoy Veronica more than Star Wars, so watch Veronica first.

      • Kim Meyer
        · December 13th, 2010 at 12:54 am · Link

        lol! I do want to watch Star Wars, but I barely have time for Castle. One of these days… When my kids graduate I should have time. 🙂

  5. Maddz
    · December 13th, 2010 at 6:13 pm · Link

    Haha, this is way cool :mrgreen: Love stuff like this..and when I heard Alona’s name for the first time, I thought of Alona Tal too, LOL Her name is perfect though! 😆


  6. Kaitlyn
    · December 21st, 2010 at 12:27 am · Link

    That’s so funny – when I saw her name, I immediately thought of Alona Tal, because she was the only person I had ever seen who spelled the name that way! I’m a huge fan of both Veronica Mars and Supernatural, so it’s crazy that her name actually did come from Alona Tal’s name. Thanks for the info!

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