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If you look under “the writing process” category of this blog where I’ve answered a question about naming the characters in LETTERS FROM RIFKA you will find a more complete answer, but in short I try out names throughout the writing process. As I come to better understand the characters with each successive draft of the book I have a better idea of the name she/he should carry. Sometimes I settle on the “right” name within the first few drafts. Sometimes I am nearly at the end of the writing process and I’m still uncertain. The name, first and foremost, has to fit the way the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fit. Sometimes a piece will be close to the right fit but you have to force it just a little. I try to avoid forcing anything in my books. So I’ll try name after name until it drops into place perfectly, until I’m certain there really can be no other. That’s how Billie Jo Kelby got her name.

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