Blessed are the Dead – Character Names – Help Please!

Posted by on May 14, 2011

Dearest readers:

My protagonist — Italian-American reporter Gabriella Giovanni — has really liked her name thus far. In fact, she loves her last name, which is a good thing because in the newspaper business, you get called your last name constantly. (Or if you’re lucky, every once in a while they’ll call you Scoop).

Anyway, I love her name, but wonder if it is too clunky for a series or if it works:

Blessed are the Dead
A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery

Dearest readers, does that seem too clunky?

*UPDATE. Thanks so much for your votes. A lot of people weighed in as you can see from the comments and the majority thought I should stick with Gabriella. Thanks again. xoxoxox K


39 Responses to Blessed are the Dead – Character Names – Help Please!

  1. Jasen Ouellette

    I like Gia Giovanni. Flows nice.

  2. Emily Tischer

    I like Cat…but perhaps her name could be Katherine and you could spell it as “Kat”….just an idea:)

  3. Adrienne

    I like Gabriella….four syllables like her last name. But all of your options are great.

  4. Valerie Arntzen

    I like the original name as in North America we always shorten names and it is a lovely name but I also love Nicci as it could be a man’s name and might offer plot scenarios where they don’t know if she is a man or woman….

  5. Donnell

    Kristi, I received some advice once I find invaluable. Author Sylvia Rochester who is also a painter says, “The First Stroke is the Freshest.” Trust your instincts. Gabriella is a terrific name.

  6. Brian K

    I like the way you have it but for short gaby or similar I like better than Gigi. Whatever you decide I’m telling the workld about your book. Btw, I only knew you as scoop at the Times, oh and Belcam. Ha

    • Kristi

      Kwoski! Still trying to get that police chase into my series — maybe book 2! I think I shaved off 10 years of my life that night.
      I should do a whole chapter on you guys — I remember driving around uncover in the hoopty car, too, with another really nice cop who’s name escapes me right now.
      When I wasn’t being called Belcamino, I got “KB” a lot — some of my reporter friends still call me that.
      Those were good times.
      Thanks for weighing in Brian!
      And thanks to everyone who has voted so far!!!! Fun to see the opinions!

  7. Brenda

    I like Sofia Giovanni – that name in my mind evokes the picture of an Italian woman, with your kind of long, dark, kind of wild windswept hair, wearing mysterious dark sunglasses and a trench coat, and heels (but not pointy stillettos… the heels would have to be kind of sturdy), …standing on the cobblestoned streets somewhere in Italy, with a defiant stance, hands in pockets…. (almost a female “Daniel Craig -James Bond” take charge woman.) The softness of the name belies the mastermind of calculating intelligence, along with sophistication.

    (But I’m a “Daniel Craig/James Bond” fan!)

    • Kristi

      ooh, I like that Brenda — I’m a HUGE Bond fan …

  8. Susan Schreyer

    Leave it as Gabriella. It works great as is. I think you’re having debut-book-jitters ;)

  9. Stephanie

    I like what Brenda said. Only you know what she looks like, what she wears, her personality, etc. Personally, I like Gabriella, but my second choice is Sofia. I think they are both great choices. Gigi appeals to me the least because I associate it with a nickname for a grandmother and not a crime reporter. The other two have a stronger woman type feel, but are still very feminine.

  10. Gayle

    I like Gabriella a lot. It does look a bit long, but it flows nicely. I like Nicci for the masculine edge, or Sofia. Gia verged on cute to me, ditto Gigi.

  11. Celeste

    I like all the names but Cat appealed to me the most. I think that is because it shortens the number of syllables in her whole name. I always liked cat or Kat for a girl- short for Katerina. It still makes me laugh that “the Belcam” was one of your nicknames.

    • Kristi

      Belcam — who the hell came up with that one — too funny!

  12. Amigh

    K, I have a student in my class whose name is Gabriella; in school, among friends, she goes by Gaby. I also like Nicci. Nicci is different, not tidy like Gia or Gina–more realistic to me. Does that make sense?

  13. Kari Wainwright

    Gabriella Giovianni rolls off the tongue like Italian silk. Love it.

    I agree with whoever liked Gaby as the shortened version — don’t care for GiGi, though.

  14. Kellie M. Rix

    Hi Kristi,
    Gabriella is a beautiful name and fits perfectly with Giovanni.

  15. Charlene Hecker

    My first choice would be Gina Giovanni vs. Gabriella Giovanni. Taking in consideration her last name, I think I prefer two syllables vs. four for her first name. The title of the book sounds very intriguing. You are so talented!

  16. Annie

    I think Gabriellia is perfect. My second choice would be Sofia.

  17. Annie

    Oops…I meant to type GABRIELLA. It must be the late hour.

  18. Sara

    Wait, what happened to your Herald nickname — “Chunks”? (As in, the kind that one might happen to blow while riding with the Blue Angels…)

    I like Gabriella too.

    • Kristi

      Sara — as if I thought I could escape THAT nickname coming up. Sigh. Well, thanks for at least explaining it instead of just throwing it out there for everyone to wonder. : )

  19. Fiona

    I like Nicci Giovanni from your list. Can’t wait to order your book!

  20. Loralee Lillibridge

    Gabriella gets my vote. I already have a great mental picture of her.

  21. Jean Fowler

    I like Gabriella. I love the way the names flow together.

  22. Kaye George

    I like Gabriella, but if you think it might be too long, how about Bella? I know you said she’s called Gigi a couple of times, but that sounds so French to me! Bella Giovanni has a nice rhythm.

  23. JudyC

    I like the name, and it seems like the perfect nickname might be “Gabe” or even “Gabby.” Good luck!

    Judy Copek
    The Shadow Warriors, now on Kindle

  24. mbd

    I vote for Gabriella! Beautiful name.

  25. Cindy

    Similar to the other replies, I like “Gabi” better than Gigi. (I love the name Gabriella.) Gigi makes me think of the movie I have yet to see. I don’t know if it is true, but I’ve heard it takes a very strong woman to be a newspaper reporter. That’s why I also like names that could be used interchangeably for a man or woman. Yet “Cat” is gives an image of a strong woman with a feminine edge. Good luck in choosing!!! I know I wouldn’t be able to pick one!

  26. Akhirah

    Hey lady, never worked in a newsroom-but I was in a male dominated field in the military-we always called each other by either our last name or a version of it (or a horrible nickname). What about Gio? Her name is still Gabriella, but maybe only her lover/close associations/family call her that? Is your target audience female or male or both? Don’t know how headstrong/aggressive or dominant your heroine is…if she is “super girly”, then a very girly name is fine. If at times, she likes to hide a bit of herself away-then you may want a name that sets that tone-something with more anonymity. Cat is also a good nickname, implies that she has 9 lives (probably important for an investigative reporter-if that is what she is). Good luck with whatever you choose. Can’t wait to read your latest offering!

  27. Holly Price

    I think Gabriella is fine. I like the alliteration between first and last names and I like the fact that Gabriella is unusual. My second choice would be Gina Giovanni. JMHO.

  28. Britt Vasarhelyi

    I vote for Gia. In fact, most of the names are nice, including the original. The one I don’t like is Cat (my daughter’s name) because I don’t think it has the rhythm I’d like to hear with Giovanni.

  29. Phyllis Bourne


  30. ASCook

    Hi Kristi:

    Saw your plea on Sinc and came over to give you my 2cents….I don’t care too much for Gigi (much too french for your very Italian woman), and really prefer NO nicknames in books, sometimes it can be confusing as to whether there is a new character being introduced. How about Gia, Ella or Ria. Ella Giovanni or Ria Giovanni evoke the Gabriella without all the syllables. (Gabby is okay, but not very sophisticated).

    For a pet name from a lover I would choose something that is loverlike, not a name, eg cara mia, bellissima, or ???? I don’t know enough Italian (NONE), but I could give you a few ideas in Polish. Okay, wrong book.

    Good luck! Amy

  31. Carol Baier

    I like your original choice the best. Like Britt, I’m not crazy about Cat. And Nicci is so close to Nikki Giovanni, the poet, that I think it might be a little distracting (unless, of course, you can work that into the series in some fun way).

  32. Charlene Hecker

    after reading these comments, i also really like the idea of Gio or Gia as a nickname for Giovanni.

  33. Margo Carey

    I love the name Gabriella. Nicknames are fun within the story, but I think it should be a Gabriella Giovanni mystery.

  34. Donnell

    Yay, Kristi! I hope this feels write to you!!!

    • Kristi

      Thanks Donnell — yep, it gave me the certainty I was lacking. Now, to just get that elusive publishing contract! K

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