Brixton - What's in a Name


Choosing names for your main characters can be a challenge. How I came to choose Brixton is an interesting story. In 2002 we decided to take a trip to London with our daughter Lauren and her fiancé Romeo. Everything had been booked well in advance and we had booked a beautiful two bedroom apartment, centrally located, in the Westminster section of London. About two weeks before we were scheduled to leave we were notified that the apartment needed to be redecorated. We were offered another unit but at almost double the price. We decided to ask for our money back and look for something more affordable.

We found a quirky two-bedroom apartment on the Thames near Canary Wharf that came complete with a circular staircase leading to a crow’s nest where you could see views of London and the river traffic. A friend of Lauren’s was living in London at the time and we invited her over to the apartment for dinner. After dinner Lauren and Romeo offered to take the local bus to the Tube station with her. The friend got off at the Tube station and Lauren and Romeo stayed on the bus expecting it to loop around so they could get off at the apartment. Instead the bus continued on and came to its last stop in Brixton. At that stop the bus driver told Lauren and Romeo they had to leave the bus. It was just past midnight. They didn’t have a mobile phone and Brixton was not known for having a safe reputation! Naturally they were very nervous. About 10 minutes later a bus came along being driven by the same driver who had evicted them. They were not amused but arrived back to the apartment safe and sound.

In 2010 Lauren was expecting her first child, a son. They narrowed the names down to Brixton (after their experience) and Kingsley. Kingsley won out but the name Brixton stuck with me as I started writing the novel. The only downside was when Lauren gave birth to her second son they did not want to use the name Brixton since I had appropriated it - so he became Theo.

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