Many writers spend a great deal of time and thought choosing names for the characters in their stories. I am not among that group.
When characters show up in my brain, they usually already have names. It goes something like this.
"I'm Annie and my grandmother has just moved in with my family."
"How nice for you."
"Not really. My grandmother doesn't like me. And to tell you the truth, I don't much like her either."
So began The Gramma War, a middle-grade novel published way back in 2001. As you can see, I didn't consciously choose the name of the central character, but I went with it. Sometimes I don't even like the names of my characters, but then I don't always like the names of people I know either. Admittedly, there have been times when I've had ulterior motives for the names I choose, because they are relevant the story, but otherwise I let the characters name themselves.
But all that changed with The Seer Trilogy. The three books in this series are set in Celtic Ireland, which means there couldn't be any Lindsays or Chads. I needed names appropriate to the time and place. So for the first time in my career as a writer, I found myself poring over lists of names. Heck, I didn't even do that when I was naming my kids!
I started with Maeve, because she is the main character. She was named for Maeve Binchy, a successful Irish novelist whose mantra was Don't get it right; get it written. I respect that concept, even though it doesn't work for me, and when I saw Maeve Binchy interviewed on television, I was impressed, so Maeve was in.
The other characters' names were chosen not only for their suitability to the setting, but for their meaning. I tried to choose names that matched each character's nature. For instance, the Great King is called Redmond, which translates to protector. How fitting is that for a benevolent ruler! I also chose names that weren't difficult to pronounce. I hate it when I'm reading and I can't say names and places even in my mind. My eyes kind of slide past those words, and I end up thinking in terms of that guy whose name starts with 'M'.
The most interesting name choice in The Druid and the Dragon was for the red dragon. Originally I called him Drago, Lord of the Marshes. It was an oft' used name for dragons back in the day. But my publisher didn't care for that. Not musical enough, she said -- or some such thing. So at her suggestion, he was renamed Riasc Tiarna, which is Irish for Lord of the Marshes.
How clever is that! (Admit it -- you're impressed.)