Sisters Donna and Dolores at the launch of What Shirley Missed at the local bookstore in Port Hope

The main character in this novel is Shirley Palmer. That is her married name. Women still have that choice. Her birth name is Shirley Anne Montgomery. This name recognizes a heroine in Canadian fiction. Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote about Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Why did I choose this name? Read on.

Donna at the Waterfront Festival in Cobourg

Nominative Determinism is an offshoot of a theory by Carl Jung and was known by the Romans as “nomen omen”. Thus the meaning of a name may play a significant role in the fate, talent and skill of its owner. So Mr. Baker makes bread and Mrs. Taylor sews dresses. You can see how enticing this theory is to writers choosing names for characters.

Donna gives a reading at Trent University in Peterborough

I came across the surname Rainbow when reading the obituaries in the newspaper. If I used this name in my writing the character would be optimistic and hopeful. Anne Shirley is known around the world as a fictional character. She is forever young. In my novel What Shirley Missed the main character misses out on many adventures including growing old.

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