I had written a "reader letter" for the front of the book, but unfortunately, there wasn't room for it. It was about choosing characters' names. As a release day bonus, here it is:
Have you ever wondered how an author comes up with names for her characters? I have a few ways.
When I first started writing, I went through a baby name book and typed out lists of names by country of origin, in part to get a geographical list of names, but also to enhance my typing skills. I still have those lists, and that's often the first place I go for names.
With my heroes, and especially the strong, silent types, I'll look for names with "hard" sounds, like Madoc, in THE WARLORD'S BRIDE. If he's the merrier type of hero, though, that doesn't necessarily apply. One of my favorite character names is Paris, Lord Mulholland, from THE WASTREL. He was originally supposed to be Edmond, but my editor at the time didn't particularly like that name, so I changed it to Paris. I don't remember how I came up with that name at the time, but once I started writing the book, his new name really suited the character as I'd envisioned him.
I try not to have two characters with names that start with the same letter of the alphabet in the same book, because it can get confusing -- for the author, too. For instance, the name of Roland's twin brother in this book and its prequel, CASTLE OF THE WOLF, was originally Rowan. Then I started getting confused, and that was just writing the outline for BRIDE FOR A KNIGHT! Thus Rowan became Gerrard.
Sometimes I use street or geographical names, and that's how Mavis got her name, although for a rather unusual reason. Often as we head out of the city, there will be a traffic slow-down at Mavis Road. Once, as we were sitting and stewing, I announced that rather than grumble about Mavis Road, I'd name my next heroine after it. Now I smile when we get to Mavis, even if the traffic's bad.
So there you have my sources - a baby name book, locations, and editor prompting. Above all else, though, I have to like the name and think it suits the character, or it's off the list.