Behind the Name: Joseph Santone

LC_TheRoaringRedwoods_ep3Joe’s name was always Joe. I have no one this is based on or even a source. This is highly unusual for me and the way I name characters.

The name Joseph works for me because it has easily recognizable forms I can use to evoke mood/tone.

For example, Mama Sophia would call Joe “Guiseppe” and so does Carlo Mantranga when they meet in LA (episode 3). Helen most often calls him Joseph.

His last name Santone was selected because it is reasonably easy to tell it is Italian, easy to pronounce and is derived from the word “Saint”. That all worked for how a name looks on the page (or e-reader) and the idea that Joe is pretty much a good guy (pretty much).

I had a different last name picked for Joe in the early planning for Redwoods but it was too close to a famous actor’s name so I scrapped it. And then the Saint-Santone bit worked better than the original plan anyway.

Joe and Helen were the first characters I came up with in the story. And their personality conflicts helped developed every storyline. Joe is what I refer to as Intrinsic. He doesn’t adhere to any rules he doesn’t agree with but he does have a very strong bottom line of right and wrong. So he will never forgive Charlie for his disloyalty. But Joe thinks Prohibition is ridiculous. Helen is extrinsic. Helen is a true believer in Prohibition and its good intention (even though she recognizes it didn’t work).  She thinks people need rules to guide behavior.

Her gradual acceptance of Wilson (Hank) demonstrates this. She rejects Wilson because the rules of society said she must. Joe sees Wilson needs help and his parentage or society’s judgment is irrelevant. Of course it wasn’t Joe’s father that was unfaithful either, so it’s easier all around for Joe.

Joe is a lot of fun to write. His violence, vocabulary, charm, and entire way of being in the world is different from anyone I have written before. In the title, Joe is the Roar.

Thanks for reading!