Don’t Call Me Baby

Well, feeling very jealous about all the conference stuff going on. What with RNA and then RWA, little ole NZ is feeling very far away from everything! Luckily next month there will be the RWAus Conference in Sydney, which I am attending for the first time. Be so cool to see my CPs Rach and Janette in real life instead of just via email. I’ll probably get all tongue tied and won’t know what to say! Anyway, the week after that we have the RWNZ Conference here in Auckland and that will be way cool too. So I guess I shouldn’t feel left out. Anyway, will be blog stalking for gossip from those who attended RNA so I hope some of you guys will be posting updates!

But news on the writing front? Nada. I am instead working on my next sub which is, I have to say, one of my favourite stories. Yes, it’s been in a constant state of rewriting ever since I first wrote it for NaNo in 2008, but it finally is starting to look more and more like the story it should have been in the first place. That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’ll be accepted, but I really hope it will be! I’ve also started another story and I have to say, I’ve forsaken my other wips for this one because I LOVE my hero. He’s an ex-soldier and woah is he hot. At least I think so. He’s alpha (natch), very protective, and – on the surface – laid back. But of course the heroine is going to get under his skin something chronic and then it’ll be no more Mr Nice Guy. Hehe.
Now all I have to do is think up a plot!

Anyway – the real point of my post guys – in my blog perambulations recently, I came across a post about pet-names (can’t remember where sorry!). It was really interesting seeing what people’s favourites were and what were their irritants. Interesting because I’ve realised that in every one of my stories, my hero has a pet name for the heroine. Now, I’m a fan because they can be very useful, epsecially for the purposes of riling said heroine. They can be first used ironically, if it’s that kind of story, or they can be used to expose deeper feeling in quite a subtle way, ie the hero calling her by an endearment can reveal quite a lot about their feelings for each other – especially if this is unspoken in most other ways. Even more interestingly, I’ve realised that my heroines don’t reciprocate. Which I’m going to remedy for my soldier hero – have the perfect name for him. One he won’t like at all. Heehee!

So pet names: love ’em? Hate ’em? What don’t you like?? For myself, I’m not a fan of baby or babe. I don’t know why, it just feels too casual. It’s not even about the infantilising aspect of it either, because I read a great story by Trish Wylie where the hero calls the heroine ‘little girl’ and I found that very sexy!

*the book is One Night with the Rebel Billionaire and it’s great!

13 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Baby”

  1. Awww I wish I was going to Sydney this year! Ahhh! Well you’ll just have to come back in 2011 won’t you? Yes. Good.

    You know I love pet names because they can reveal so much about how a character is feeling in the heat of a moment just through those one or two words. I actually don’t like babe or baby and yet I’ve come across a hero or two who have used them and it worked for them so it really comes down to their characters. Another fab post!

  2. Lacey – 2011 hopefully! I guess it’ll all depend on how this year’s goes – no pressure Rach and Janette!
    Actually, that’s true re baby/babe. If the hero works it right, then I could be pursuaded. 🙂

  3. Mmm…I love pet names. I like it when the hero does it first sort of carelessly…like babe, though I’ve never used that one, but then it becomes meaningful, more like a baby. 🙂 (never used that one either!) But I had an Italian hero that used amore, love, then at the end, before he’d even figured himself out, it became my love. I like that. :}

    Wish you could be at RWA! But have fun at RWAus!

  4. Maisey – yeah, exactly re the baby. My favourite story has the hero call the heroine by a pet name from the beginning (’cause they’re friends) and then, when things get tense between them, he only calls her by her given name which makes things between them even tenser, cos she notices it. hehe. Pet names as torture. Love it!
    Cheers re RWAus. You can be smug about RWA. Sniff.

  5. I love pet names 🙂

    The only trouble I have is, making one up for each story..which is unique and holds a meaning till the very end, especially the ones hero calls the heroine.

    Funny thing was, I had my hero calling the heroine “my sweet”, when she retorts back that she isn’t ! LOL. And it wasn’t so funny when I read a book the week after I subbed this from the same line and and.. ::sob::, the same endearment was used 🙁

    For the hero though, I always come up short. Have anyone else had any luck finding something “fitting” for an alpha hero?

  6. Ju – my pet names seem to happen organically. I don’t have them preconcieved, the hero just usually comes out with it. My soldier just up and called the heroine ‘kitten’ which annoys her no end. Had no idea he was going to say it either.
    And I’ve seen kitten used by other heroes so I wouldn’t worry about it being used by others. It’s not like they’re copyrighted or anything.
    As to pet names for heroes – yeah, that’s a challenge! I think you can get away with it in Modern Heat because the tone is lighter and flirtier. Depends on the heroine too – my kitten has a special name for the soldier. Will have to see if she uses it and how it affects him. Ah, such fun!

  7. Hi Jackie! Great post. I’m so with you on pet names having to happen organically. Not all guys would use one. Some might only go as far as a shortened version of a real name. In the end, it has to fit the way the character would talk and interact with others.

    When it comes to ‘babe’ or ‘baby’ I think more of hot romance where the hero is a player and sleeps around (before he meets the heroine). It’s more impersonal to me. I like ‘original’ pet names that are a bit teasing. Remember when we were all kids and we’d get upset if a boy teased us? Grown-ups used to say that if a boy teased you it meant that he liked you. Hee, hee. I like it when a hero does that…or even a heroine.

    I love the idea of the pet name evolving as the relationship does!


  8. Love pet names myself Jackie, especially ones that can work on two levels, ironically at first and then as a term of endearment, a sexy come-on, etc… Find they can be particularly useful in Modern Heat and not just for the heroine…

    The heroine I’m currently writing is a lush, strong-willed woman who also happens to be a total flirt. She dubbed the hero ‘Big Boy’ in the first chapter because he made the mistake of referring to her as a ‘girl’… But then it turns out the name is more apt than she realised!!! LOL.

    My favourite pet name of all time? Humphrey Bogart calling Lauren Bacall ‘Slim’ in To Have and Have Not… No wonder she fell in love with him for real.

    Love the sound of your new stories btw…

  9. Ooh, good post. I like pet names too, as long as they don’t sound forced. And funny you should mention “Babe” because I am reading Janet Evanovich’s latest and Ranger calls Stephanie that and I melt (as does she). Sometimes that’s all he says, not another word, and it’s still sexy!
    But, that same pet name would annoy me from someone else. The one that I am not a fan of is “darling”. It sounds so Sound of Music, old fashioned to me (unless it’s used facetiously). I also find that, because my h’s are usually snarky and sarcastic they call the H things like “Champ” or “Streak” or “Sparky”, lol. I am trying to imagine one of them calling their man “Love” or “Muffin” and I am cracking up!

  10. Rula – yeah, that’s true. Not all guys would use one, it depends on the guy. Character, character, character. And yeah, love the way it can be ironic first and then it starts to have actual meaning later.

    Heidi – I thought so too! Love the sound of big boy!! In more ways than one, hehe. Ahh…Bogey and Bacall…Slim is lovely. Oh and cheers re the new stories. I like them too. 🙂

    RC – hey! Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I think ‘babe’ depends on the guy and the situation. Maybe it would work. Funny you should say that about darling. I have a hero who uses that to annoy the heroine majorly. It is kind of old fashioned but again, context is everything. Lol re your names – love ’em! I can definitely see a strong, snarky heroine using them. Also I’m sure ‘muffin’ could really, really annoy a hero!

  11. I like pet names I think it adds authenticity to a couple’s relationship (although, in real life I don’t like to be called anything other than my own name).


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