Star adapted for HBO—Redmond Satran
writes commercial fiction largely aimed
at women. But if the show does not win
her the worldwide acclaim Bushnell has
achieved, Redmond Satran still will be
“internationally recognizable,” as she
puts it, in at least one literary cranny.
With L. A.-based Rosenkrantz, Redmond Satran runs Nameberry.com—
described on its home page as “baby names,
only juicier.” The two have coauthored
10 baby-name books, dating back to that
first deal they signed in the 1980s for
Beyond Jennifer & Jason. Nameberry.com,
launched six years ago, claims to attract
4 million visitors a month and, Redmond
says, sells enough ads to turn a profit.
Not all visitors to the site are expect-
ant moms. Some, like Redmond Satran
herself, “just have a bizarre fascination
with names,” she says. Her fascination
started in childhood and was something
that caused her “deep shame.”
“My family thought I was weird. I
thought I was weird,” she says. But then
she began discovering other “name
nerds”—a term of inclusion and endear-
ment on the site.
She and Rosenkrantz set out to reinvent baby-name directories. “In the
’80s, all the name books were dictionaries, A to Z, with meaning and origin.
We looked at names in a more qualitative way in our books—Irish names,
names that are super-feminine,” she
says. The approach caught on.
AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED, Redmond Sa-
tran is reluctant to disparage any name.
Ask her if she finds the name Alice
superior to Liza, for instance, and she
won't take the bait. Chances are, she
truly does not mind Star and company
changing her heroine’s name for the
small screen. So far, she’s been pleased
with all of the TV team’s decisions.
After the show got the green light,
she went to the writers’ room at Sunset
Gower Independent Studios in Holly-
wood, “just because I really wanted to
go,” she says, “and I was blown away.
There’s this little office, with Darren
Star sitting at the head of the table and
12 people sitting around him, some of
them seasoned, and others cool young
writers.” Last spring, she visited the set
in Queens during the pilot shoot.
“That was amazing for me,” she
says. “It wasn’t until then, when I was
in this house with 100 other people
standing around, and Darren Star on
the front lawn, that it hit me: This is
Better still, “TV Land is giving it
a lot of attention,” she says. “They’ve
invested a lot in the show.” Even if
there’s a freak Hollywood blizzard on
the night of the premiere party, even if
it doesn’t become New Jersey’s own Sex
& the City, “it’s definitely a good thing
to be able to put on your Facebook page.
I’m hugely excited about it.” ■
Tammy La Gorce is a frequent contributor to
New Jersey Monthly.
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