Stories behind my story


Coming up with names for characters or places in a book is never easy. Characters and important places are like a writer’s babies. There are several names in my novel Florid Eyes that are particularly meaningful to me.

Violet – I named my heroine Violet because she is like strong and one of a kind like Scarlett from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Like Scarlett, she is not without flaws, but in her own way.

Woodrow Mansion – It is named after the 28th US President Woodrow Wilson. He was the only president to have ever earned a PhD, a real one, not those honorary bull crap. As an aspiring academic, I just have so much admiration for him.

Elmhurst Place – Elmhurst, Illinois is the place some one dear to me used to work at.

Professor Berry – my undergraduate mentor, the person who inspired me so much, is Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Professor Steve Berry.

The Cheungs – Cheung is a common Cantonese last name. Any Cantonese speakers will know someone who the Cheung last name has to be from Hong Kong.

Thomas – the dutiful servant reminds me of those footmen on Downton Abbey. This Thomas is not crafty and despiteful, though. He is more like William.


About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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