Friday, March 15, 2013

What's in a name?

 “What’s in a name?  that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
                                         William Shakespeare

Recently I started posting teasers from my new book “Money,Masks & Madness” on my Facebook fan page. They’re just little snippets, not meant to be spoilers, but intended to entice readers into wanting to read the book upon its release in April. So far, I have done little more than reveal the names of a few characters and their relationships to each other. The novel touches on the lives of five sisters: Iris, Daisy, Rose, Lily and Tulip. It centres on the youngest sister, Tulip and her personal and professional struggles.

From the prologue. 

Imagine my surprise when a distant relative of mine wrote to say: “How much do you know of our Yeoman family history, Jennifer? . . . Your great, great grandfather had siblings . . . Flora, Rosa and Lily! It just naturally runs in the family, I guess. My husband had an Aunt Daisy!”  

Lily Yeoman

Part of me believes the names I chose were a coincidence. When I started writing the book, I had wanted the sisters’ names to connect them, hold an echo of flower-power and not be dated.  However, this isn’t the first time I have inadvertently borrowed names from my family history. In “Remember Newvember”, the main character’s name is Willow Pillbean – a surname we can trace in our family, but while I was writing the book, I didn’t know that.

Flora and Ted Coombs

I know very little of my Yeoman ancestry. Intrigued, I asked Susan if she knew anything more and was rewarded with beautiful pictures of my great, great, great aunts and the promise to tell me more if ever we get the chance to meet in person.

Rosa and James Harris

Tulip’s story is the first of the five Garden sisters to be told. Next I plan to write about Rose, followed by Lily. Knowing there’s a family connection to these names, I have a feeling both Daisy and Iris will be getting their own stories in the coming years. 


  1. That sounds so interesting! I love coincidences with names...names are so important. (Despite what we say, although aspects are true--I think that names can have enormous meaning, but don't define oneself). And I love family stories!

  2. Names are important - sometimes they magically appear and you *know* they're right, other times you have to search for them. Having a family tie-in - even unexpectedly - makes them even more special.