A question that asked of any author, I wager the answer is the same: Everything. Character names have always come easy for me. I don’t use any sort of naming conventions like some of my authors friends. Their methodology smacks of creative brilliance. I’m a bit of a Cro-Magnon man in that respect. I simply go by the sound of it—the feel. For my main characters it’s always three syllables. Two for the first, one for the last, or vice versa depending on how it sounds. I suppose said aloud that is something of a naming convention after all, isn’t it? Albeit an informal one.
It was the same with Simon Monk. Being my first espionage thriller, Simon was a lock for the first name. It was my nod to the fabulous Leslie Charteris, who so shaped my love for the anti-hero from an early age with The Saint. Limiting perhaps, but I was committed, and besides, I liked the name Simon. His last name needed to be something blunt and masculine like he was. The character, after all, was an instrument of death in the service of his government. Tasks performed coldly, objectively and with no remorse.
The figure opposite of that was naturally a priest. But combined, Simon Priest sounded, well, quite frankly ridiculous as hell. The man was solitary in his work, the job forcing the same loneness in his personal life. In all, like a monk.
Simon Monk. It was pure gold.
I’m very pleased to introduce you to the world Monk inhabits with The Last Enemy and that you find the price of admission well spent.