Just for kicks and giggles I posted the blurb for my novel on the Kindle Boards for feedback. I mean, I knew it needed serious work as I'm complete rubbish at blurbs, hence the feedback request. What I didn't expect was for one of the feedbackers (I don't think that's a word, but hey.) to point out that my protagonist had the same last name as the protag in a popular urban fantasy series by a well known author.
Now it wasn't like the last name was Frekkledink or Von Strottenheimer. It was Morgan. Morgan is a relatively common name, so I never really thought about it. Heck, I've never even read the series in question. Technically I named my character (Bailey Morgan) after Derek Morgan, Shemar Moore's character on Criminal Minds. Observe:
Yeah, yeah. I know. Cheap tricks. Haha. But come on. He's soooo pretty!
Ahem. Right. Back to the subject at hand.
Many people on KB suggested this wasn't a problem. The name is common. I didn't do it on purpose. Big whoop.
But the fact is that not only is it the same genre, but both Bailey and the character from the other series have red hair. They deal with supernatural creatures (Sort of a must for UF.). And both books are in first person. Superficial similarities, but similarities none the less.
It's stupid, I'll admit. Can you imagine if you had to go through every book in your genre to make sure you didn't use some other character's surname and thus be accused of "copying"? It could take decades.Unfortunately all it takes is one jackass to claim I'm "copying" and I'll end up spending the rest of my writing career trying to prove I didn't. Ain't worth it.
So, I've decided to do the last thing on earth I ever wanted to do: change Bailey's name. Enter Witness Protection. It wasn't easy, believe me. I've lived with her so long, but Bailey Morgan is now Morgan Bailey.
I just hope nobody famous wrote a series of books about someone with the surname Bailey. I might really throw a tantrum.