1. In the summer of 2004 I was watching the Little League World Series to get inspiration for my work in progress, which was bout a catcher named Roy and a pitcher named Sturgis Nye. In one game a kid named Sturgeon struck out all but a few batters in a complete game shutout. He was lanky, dark haired, and pitched in the mid 70s, an unthinkable speed for Little League. He practically had my character’s name and was just as I imagined him.
2. In Mamba Point, I imagined I’d made up a character named Roger, a hippie scientist in Monrovia studying snakes. That was before my dad sent me this picture of “Charlie the Snake Man,” whom I’d completely forgotten (and still don’t really remember). Another character in the story, also fond of snakes, is called Charlie.
3. In the first draft of Wake, ME (and, I expect, the final book) there is a woman by the unlikely name of Howard. Without getting too much into it, she’s well connected to a famous writer of horror fiction, and is discreetly named for H.P. Lovecraft, whom looms large in the story (there are both oblique and explicit references to Lovecraft throughout the story.) Today my wife told me about an actual woman named Howard. I had no idea there ever was one, and this one turned out to be so perfect that I’ve been chuckling all day. I’ll leave it unstated to see if any of my commenters want to have a guess the name by which she is better known.