Character names are one of those things that you either struggle with...or you don't. My characters tend to have unusual names. I can hear a couple readers snickering. The hero in my first book was named Dancer. The heroine was Eppie, short for Epona. The second book--about Dancer's brother--had a hero named Traveller with a heroine named Wrenna. See? No Bill, Bob, George, Lucas, Tiffany, Jake, or Heather.
I have a few other odd names. Chrysanthemum, Honeysuckle, Daffodil, Magnolia. Otis, Arik, Hartwell, Zipporah, Dennac and Undain. So it's usually a jolt when I find one of my character's names in another book. Look at that list. Do you reckon any of them are on the top twenty of the baby names list?
In the time since my books have been released, I've discovered two books with heroines named Chrysanthemum, a fellow writer has a book with the heroine named Zipporah, and I've also found two books with characters named Dancer--one male and one female.
I'm currently working on a book with hero named Finnian and heroine named Mairwen (Mari). My friend and fellow writer e-mailed me that she'd just recently contracted a book with a heroine named Mari. Hmmmm. As we always do in these cases, I offered to change my heroine's name and she declined. And we went on down the line, amused that once more we'd picked the same name.
And now I can see you scratching your heads, wondering what the big deal is. Actually, that's my point. It's not a big deal if some other writer has a character in their book that has the same name as a character in your book. Even if that name is an invented name.
I confess that Dennac is one of my computer generated passwords for one of my softward programs. I liked the sound of it and used it. For me, Dennac is a unicorn shifter with long violet hair. He's a shaman for his people and a loving husband. If some other author comes along and uses Dennac for their hero's name, it won't change my Dennac a whit.
In the effort to make our heroes and heroines stand out, we may have gone overboard with the strange and unusual. I elected to go for old-fashioned and simple with my characters in Rescuing Clarice. Otis and Clarice. Of course, they just happen to be dragon elemental shifters. He's fire and she's water. Mix well and let the games begin.
I believe that a name can actually help you shape your character--give him or her substance in your mind--show you the facets hidden from the world around them. Every name out there generates a raft of feelings in us, based on our personal experience. For instance there are certain names I would not use because they are names in my family. I just find it difficult to write hot sex scenes for a male with my dad's name. Sorry. Can't do it. That personal baggage influences the names we choose for our characters.
So if you discover a book out there with your hero or heroine's name, just smile. All it proves is your excellent taste in names.