A lot goes into naming a character, especially for one in a series who will be around for several books. The name has to fit the character.
It should also be pronounceable. Or if you think it’s a difficult name, give the reader a hint of how you want it pronounced. I named a character “Roni” (short for Veronica) once. In my head, she was Roni (Rah-knee). Some of my beta readers called her “Rhoney” like “Rice-a-roni.”
Avoid naming multiple characters with similar names. It makes it hard for readers to keep them separate (e.g. Kris, Chris, Christian, Kristen, Christie).
My friend, the late Kathleen Mix, had a trick for naming characters in her books. She made a character list, and only one character per book could have a name with the same letter. She could have an Anastasi, Brooke, and Caitlyn, but not an Alfred and an Annie.
When I hear an interesting name, I jot it down and add it to my working ideas list.
You can Google the social security baby name lists by year. This helps if you want to know what names were popular in a particular year.
When I’m watching sporting events, I look at the rosters for interesting names (first and last).
Keep a character list for each book. This helps me from repeating names. I tend to name a lot of minor characters Bob and Joe for some reason. I also record character traits in my chart, so I can keep them consistent book to book.
I will often pay homage to pop culture in some of my character names. There are references to Van Halen and Wham! in Secret Lives and Private Eyes. In “Diggin’ up Dirt” in To Fetch A Thief, the nosy neighbors are named in honor of a namesake from the TV show “Bewitched.” My PI, Delanie Fitzgerald gets her last name from my favorite American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and her agency is named for Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.
What else would you add to my list about naming characters?