That's a neat idea.
I'm also in the "names are tricky" category. I find that when I draw a blank for a particular character I toss in a ? and keep going which usually causes a name to show up the next time the need for a ? comes up, or helps me sort where I need to return (just look for the ?s and see if anything moves/comes forward for me then). Other characters walk right in name in hand. lol!
I also liked the tip about weighing a name before you use it ~ we do have opinions about certain names even if we don't realize it and there are "universal" (type) names that evoke feelings in a group - how often have you heard "Oh...*fill in name here*, they're all ditzy", or can't be trusted or are beautiful. Play around till one feels right ~ kinda like naming a baby, (often) you need to "see" the character to know them.
Good luck! :)
I too like the idea of the story built around a year and I spent some time in New Hampshire - lovely setting for a book.
I heard your online interview at A Novel Idea. (I'm going to be on tomorrow!) I'm glad you shared about knowing when a book is finished. You said something like, "You have to let it go or it will never be finished." So true! Thank you for sharing about your writing process.