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Kara is the bubbly, friendly blogger at The Art of Naming, which she has been regularly maintaining, along with a host of social media, for a year now. Kara genuinely loves helping parents find the perfect name, and as well as personal assistance, she provides name lists, birth announcements, and featured names which includes possible name combinations and sibsets. As you can tell from her photo, Kara is expecting a baby in the near future, and if you read this interview very carefully, you will find out what her name will be.

What is your name?

Kara Yvonne.

Have you ever wished you had a different name?

Yes! I’ve always wanted a different name but I’ve never been able to pinpoint which name would better suit me. Kara fits just fine, I’ve just never liked it or Yvonne. Sorry mom! I would consider changing it if I could find the perfect replacement.

How did you become interested in names?

I was into playing The Sims as a teen, so I began browsing naming sites to choose names for the characters. By seventeen, I was making long name lists for future children (or Sims), and it snowballed from there.

What inspired you to begin a name blog?

Once I discovered that I was somewhat good at forming first and middle name combinations, (or I at least really liked doing so), I began frequenting forums to help parents find the perfect name. Then I decided to focus all of that into one place and help people on my own turf. It’s been over a year since I started the blog and I’ve helped many people, which is why I started it to begin with.

Do you have a favourite post on The Art of Naming?

The only one that comes to mind recently was about the popularity of names and I included my own little confession in there regarding my daughter’s name. I spent a few hours compiling the data for the chart there and the hard work felt worth the time when I finished. I’m a sucker for data and number crunching.

Do you have any other blogs?

I’ve got social media everywhere! Even a secondary blog where I answer questions, just don’t ask how I find the time to keep up with all of them.

Do you have a pet peeve in regard to names?

I really dislike a misspelled name. I like names with standard spellings (with a few exceptions) and I like names to have some solid history behind them, and a good meaning. So I guess my pet peeve is made-up names, or those that you have to think about for a few minutes before you attempt to pronounce them.

What are some of your favourite names?

Some of my favourites that I won’t be using include girly names like Magnolia, Freya, Coraline, Esme, Lavinia, Aveline, and Amara. For boys, I like August/Augustus, Benedict, Caspian, Constantine, Dante, Jack, Rafferty, and Silas. I can’t help but love unexpected middle names like Essence, Wintress, Frost, or Marvel.

What names do you dislike?

I really can’t stand some of the more trendy names. The whole –aiden trend, for example. Any name with an unnecessary Y or H inserted in there is a no-no. I also dislike the majority of K names, except for Irish ones like Killian. I think that stems from the dislike of my own name, plus recent trends in pop-culture, like the influx of Kardashians. Don’t get me started on names like Nevaeh. I also am not a huge fan of unisex names.

Are there any names you love, but could never use?

There aren’t any names that I can think of that I could never use, there are only names I was never able to use. I like to believe that in another dimension, I totally used all the names on my guilty pleasure list. The weirder the better! I think we’re stopping at two kids for now so my actual naming days are quite possibly over. Maybe I’ll get some fish.

What are your favourite names in the US Top 100?

Girls: A secret! But third and fourth are Emma and Caroline.
Boys: James… no, Henry.. no, Jack!

What are your favourite names in the rest of the US Top 1000?

Girls: Juliet ….
Boys: Maximus and Vincent.

What are your favourite names that have never charted in the US?

Girls: Amabel.
Boys: Caius?

What is your son’s name?

Maximus Alexander. We chose it for a number of reasons but we also really loved the meaning: ”greatest defender of the people”. We’ve already tasked him with protecting his baby sister and he seems to like the idea, but then again he’s only two.

You’re currently expecting another child – are we allowed to know her name?

She will have a first name and two middle names. The first name is one that we mutually fell in love with and decided on when we first saw an ultrasound picture of her cute little face. The second name is Juliet. And the third name is after my husband’s sister, even though it is extremely popular. I’m sure I’ll reveal it on my page in the next week or two.

What is one thing we don’t know about you?

I am currently in the process of writing a name book. I just need to try a little harder to focus on finishing it. Writer’s block is killer when combined with pregnancy hormones, but I hope to be able to release it in the not-too-distant future! Stay tuned!

What advice would you give someone who was choosing a baby name?

I always encourage people to go with their instincts. If they really love a particular name and can’t get it out of their head, that’s the one. Do not let family or friends influence you. Do not share your names in advance if you can help it so that you can keep them safe: name theft is real! Compromise is difficult between partners but it is totally achievable. Keep your mind open to new name ideas but cling to those you love the most. Sentimental value is always most important; if you have a wonderful reason for loving your name choice, it doesn’t matter at all how popular it is or if someone else has used it. Go for it anyway!

(Picture is a recent photo of Kara, supplied by interviewee)