When I taught high school, I had a student with the last name of Borsch.
There was also a Keyes.
And an Acosta.
You get the picture.
I didn't fashion the characters after the students, I just lifted their names out of my grade book. It's a good source. Way better than 10,001 Names For Baby.
UNTIL I got published and my former students started hearing rumors about the names in the Sammy Keyes series.
That's when the questions (and the rumors) started.
And now that my former students have children of their own, well, I have some explaining to do.
"No! Officer Borsch is NOT your dad! Your dad was a good student. Very nice! He just happened to have a great name for that particular character. Did you know that borsch(t) is a type of soup? Made of beets? Usually served cold? With sour cream? No, really! Your dad never told you that?"
(Whose face is beet-red now?)
"And he's a great character! How far have you read? Oh, just through Sisters of Mercy? You have to read a few more books, but you'll see! He's one of the BEST characters in the series. I love Officer Borsch!"
At my talk at the "Santa Martina Public Library" I confessed that I was a little worried about the whole naming thing, but it turned out that none of my former students were there to call me out on that. They just wanted to say hi after so many years and have their kids meet me.
Plus they thought it was pretty cool that their names were in books translated into a whole bunch of foreign languages. Even if you can't read the language, you can pick out the names!
So overall, it was a big relief, and a wonderful experience. Still, it's probably a good thing that my grade book is closed for good.