In a recent Facebook thread, we had considerable speculation–and some insistence–regarding Roarke’s full name. Several posters stated Roarke was named Patrick Michael Roarke, Jr after his father.
Let me repeat, be perfectly clear. Roarke was not named after his father. This man is, and never was anyone’s junior.
He’s Roarke. Just Roarke. That’s more than enough.
Some readers feel I hinted in Portrait that Roarke was named after his father. Actually I hinted at another name entirely. But while he carries the name Roarke from his father, that’s it. Just it. No other name. I simply didn’t give him one, for the very specific reason I saw Roarke. And we agreed that’s all he wanted or needed.
If readers find it fun or interesting to add a name on for themselves, that’s fine. It’s the magic of reading. You, in a very real way, create your own image.
I’ve had questions regarding Stella–what’s her REAL name. My reaction runs to: What does it matter? Whatever the name on her birth certificate, she was a horrible person. The name doesn’t change what she was. Her name means nothing.
In Concealed In Death, I revealed Mavis’s birth name. It mattered–what really mattered was why she changed it, and how and why she picked the name she did. Who she became. That’s, for me, what a name can say about a character.
What Roarke’s name says, for me, is strong, individual, confident and just a little mysterious. That’s who he is–and that’s who he’ll always be.
Names matter. Richard Troy and Stella didn’t give Eve a name. She wasn’t a person to them. Officials named her. She became Eve Dallas–and the name fits. Strong again, focused, a woman determined to stand for victims, and never to be one again.
Roarke’s single name is all he needs. It’s who he is–who he made himself. He took that single name, the last name of the father who abused him–and made it matter, made it his and his alone. Giving him more, in my opinion, detracts from his evolution.
So feel free to speculate, it’s your story while you’re reading. But he’ll always be Roarke.