The joke at my house is that he was named after our former cat, Stubby Duke. The cat had a naturally bobbed tail and thought he was a duke.
So, I used the name Stubby for a character. When I was writing the little boy, I saw him as a youngster who thought he was just as big as all the sailors around him, and the sailors had started calling him by the nickname, and no one could remember his real name.
Years ago, after finishing the book A Captain and a Rogue, I wanted to write more of Stubby, so I wrote a short scene which began in my mind as...a man walking into a tavern and there's Stubby waiting on him. I had no clue what either would say.
I expected the child to be finding his father, but my story went in a different direction.
Then, I put the tidbit aside and finished the manuscript I was writing.
One day, I couldn't wait any longer. i needed to find out what happened to Stubby, and I did in Tempting a Reformed Rake.