What’s In a Name?

As a writer, naming characters can sometimes be a daunting task. Does the name depict what the characters are like? Does the name depict what might happen to the character? Does the name depict just names you like?
Some years ago I wrote a time travel called,Test of Time. And guess what, it’s about a physicist.
The man in the book, the one who invented the time machine, I gave the name James Maxwell. I made up this funny little character who was a world-class mathematician, with big side whiskers, and just happened to be from Edinburgh, Scotland. About 35% of the book was finished when I put it aside for another project.
But this is the strange part; some months after I had put the book aside, I stumbled on the fact that there really was a 19th century mathematician named James Clerk Maxwell. The real Maxwell was a World-class mathematician and is considered the Father of Electromagnetics. Not only that, but when I saw a picture of James Maxwell he had big side whiskers.
Most writers I speak with, write what is in their heads. There are full scenes and acts of movies, plays, people, and real life taking place up there in the gray matter. Maybe it is the right side of the brain that rules creativity that tells us what to write and who to write about.
I know the story about Maxwell is a little creepy, and it stunned me.
Maxwell, the real Maxwell, had a dog, who was his constant companion. He spoke to the dog to try out his mathematical equations.(Nobody ever wrote that the dog answered him.)
Sometimes when I’m walking my dog Bitsy, I lean down and talk to her about a plot line I’m working on. But, she’s too busy sniffing around doing dog stuff to listen to me.
Maybe Maxwell’s dog was a genius just like his master.
I refuse to consider the possibility that Bitsy, lovable mutt though she is, somehow channels my IQ.

George Washington the First and Best Spymaster of America.

Since my books in The Locket series, Deception and The Locket, are rife with stories of secret agents, double agents, and their exploits, I thought it would be prudent to speak about America’s first spymaster.
When we are children in elementary school we get the story year after year, Presidents’ Day after Presidents’ Day, about George Washington and that ever love and cherry tree. If you don’t already know, that story was made up by a minister of an unknown denomination whose name I never knew to beef up the creds of George Washington, like he needs beefing up!
So, just to make this clear there was no cherry tree and George Washington was one of the best and most consummate liars in the history of our country. He started helping the Americans by using misinformation, much as Ian Richardson and the British did in the book Deception. One of his tricks was to make sure that the British intercepted information about how many barrels of gunpowder, how many sacks of flour, how many pairs of boots the Americans had.
This deliberate misinformation was a calculated risk taken by the upper echelons of the American Army during the Revolution.  Because certainly it might have backfired and the British would have known the truth about the poorly provisoned Americans.
Gen. Clinton, one of the highest ranking of the British said in his memoir, “The American Army didn’t out to fight us, they out spied us.”
Above the door of the CIA in Langley Virginia is a quote from George Washington.

“There is nothing more necessary than good intelligence

to frustrate a designing enemy, & nothing requires greater pains to obtain.”

–George Washington

If you would care to see a middle grade book that I wrote about George Washington, the Culper Ring, and the beginning of a spy network in America, send your email to Kathryn @Scarborough books.com, and I will be delighted to send you a sample.
Thanks,

Deception and the Art of Misinformation

The title of my new book, Deception, came from the parallel plots of the novel itself.
My hero, Ian Richardson, is a control officer for the B. i.a section of the MI5 (WWII, the designations have changed in the modern era). The section dealt with capturing German spies and turning them to work for the British. Many of the stories I used for the novel of spies, intrigue, and misinformation, were taken from actual accounts that I’d researched.
Ian really takes it on the chin from his German wife, Elsbet. They marry in 1933, before all the mess in Germany becomes out of control.  Elsbet leaves Ian to work for the Third Reich. One would not expect Ian and Elsbet’s romance to be anything but rocky and not to end well.
The book delves into how the misinformation the British used to fool the Nazi’s into believing that their ‘Vengeance Weapons’, the V-1 and V-2, pilot-less bombs, hit populated targets instead of meadows and fields.  There are still V-2’s found today buried deep in the countryside.
And that’s the only spoiler I’ll give away for this blog post.
Deception is available on Kindle now.
Let me know what you think of it!
Write me at www.scarboroughbooks.com and hit the contact link.
Cheers
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