The Why Behind the Who
My book, Asylum, has been out for going on two weeks now. What a crazy thing it is! I have to force myself to think about other things. I have to make myself get out of the house. I could sit and stare at the sales figures online all day. Not that Asylum is sitting at number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, but I just enjoy the idea that someone somewhere has purchased my book!
At the end of the book, I included a glossary. I made up a few terms because Asylum and the others in the Circeae Tales series take place in a totally different universe. I wanted my readers to understand what I was talking about. I also like to make my characters' names mean something. I once heard that J.K. Rowling included puzzles and riddles in her work. I love having underlyng meaning to give another layer of depth.
One of my lead characters is Chase Leighton. I've always liked the name Chase, so I had to use it. Plus, throughout half the book, he is chasing after his wife, so there you have it. The name Leighton comes from one of my favorite artists - Edmund Blair Leighton. If you're not familiar with his work, you should look him up. His images of knights and ladies capture the romance and beauty of the era.
Trista/Krissa started out with a completely different name. I initially used Alex(andra)/Lexi, but changed early on. Alex is now the main character in Excelsior. I liked the way Trista sounded, and as explained in Asylum, Krissa came about as a near-rhyme.
The villain in Asylum is Dr. Reid Terces. His name is an anagram of "dire secret," in reference to his work with Trista/Krissa. Everyone associated with him - the Nivelis and Aftal - hinge on that same idea. Niveli is an anagram of "live in" - as in "live in secret," and Aftal is "fatal" rearranged - "fatal secret."
My favorites, though, are the doctors onboard the Straightjacket. (By the way, I chose to go with that spelling, as opposed to Straitjacket, because it's the place where the Legacy intends to "straighten" out their prisoners.) The Straightjacket is a prison ship for the criminally insane. Makes sense to me - people labeled as crazy shipped off to the far reaches of the system. In this case, however, it's done injustly. The doctors are Adam Caiman ("a mad maniac"), Caultin (lunatic), Sainne (insane), and Tuscane (nutcase). Pretty cool, huh?
The orderlies also have meanings behind their names. I won't go into all of them, but I used words from different languages with meanings such as, "dope," "mean," "cruel," "numb." And there are others. You just have to read the book!
I've done the same with the overall storyline. Asylum is just one piece of the puzzle. There is much more to the big picture. I'll explain those in a future post. This is certainly one aspect of writing I love - crafting words/names in such a way that they mean more than just the surface level impression.
I hope this intrigues you enough to read Asylum! And if you do - and you like it - I'd love to hear from you. Write a review. Send me a comment on my contact page. Find me on Facebook or Twitter. If you don't like it, I'd like to heard from you, too. I welcome constructive criticism. But just so you know - my husband, who hasn't read any of my work prior to the release of Asylum, AND is not a science-fiction fan, finished it in a day. He said he couldn't put it down. He loved the book. Perhaps he's a little biased, but I'd like to think his opinion is a testament to the story itself. And I certainly want any credit for it. Soli Deo Gloria.
Blessings to you, dear friends!
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Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3