Saturday, April 24

Kissing Elmer by Shawn Daltonsmith

Have you ever bought a romance without looking at the blurb on the back? It had a beautiful cover and your favorite author wrote it so you didn't bother looking at the back before you went to the register and happily gave the cashier your money.

So now snuggling into your favorite reading chair, beverage and snacks at your elbow, you open the cover and start to read. And almost choke on your Coke. The hero's name is Elmer and the heroine is Beulah. What do you do? Do you keep reading, or do you put the book down?

As I pointed out in a previous post, I'm a little twisted. I'd keep reading because the characters had such unattractive names. I'd want to know what love between Elmer and Beulah looks like. I've read the stories of the exotic people (some had names I couldn't pronounce) so the change might be refreshing. Romance has changed over the years. The heroes and heroines are not always outrageously beautiful or have rocking hot bodies. Why not have out of the norm names?

I may be dating myself here but does anybody remember the movie 'She Devil' starring Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep? Meryl Streep played a romance author whose writing became a little weird after she and her lover stopped getting along. Her agent told her that her latest book wasn't good and one of the reasons was because the hero was named Bob.

Would that really bother anybody? What if the story was awesome?

Blog question: Would you read Elmer and Beulah's story?


  1. Hey Shawn...great post! I think a lot of names are reverting back to "old" school...maybe not Beulah, but I've found myself using Henry in a story....and I did use Elmer in one, but unfortunately he was a pig. =)

  2. Hmmm... a hero named Elmer? I dunno. Elmer immediately makes me think of Mr. Fudd. Not very heroic. But I don't mind so-called old-fashioned names like Henry or Vincent...I think it depends on the character you build who is attached to the name - modern, strange, old-fashioned or whatever.

  3. I always think of Fudd too when I hear the name. But I actually met an Elmer once and he was cute. He was 75 years old, but cute. But like I said, I would find Elmer as a hero intriguing.

  4. No way! I never would've taken the book off the shelf. Books are fantasy, fun, transporting...and Beaulah and Elmer epitomize none of those things. There are more than enough books out there that have it all, plus good names. I'm shocked her editor let that one slide!