The Prodigy Chronicles Trivia: Names

January 14, 2016

 

 

 

Naming a book character is sort of like naming your unborn child. Oh, the possibilities. You could pick a derivative of your own name, or go with one of your relatives. Maybe there's a religious meaning behind the name you like. Or a city you love (Dallas, Austin, Brooklyn).

 

It usually takes me a while to come up with a character name. Occasionally, I'll change it. Some are names I simply like, while others have deep personal meaning. Many are nods to fictional characters. Here's how I came up with a few of the names in Gambit:

 

  • Willow Kent: I fell in love with her first name after seeing the 1988 movie Willow at Metro North Mall in Kansas City. I think it's a cool name for a girl. Apparently, so do Will and Jada Pinkett Smith! It symbolizes both flexibility and strength, while implying a grace that my character has yet to grown into. Her last name comes from Emily's love interest, Teddy Kent, in the 'Emily of New Moon' book series by L.M. Montgomery.
  • Gerhold, Garron, and Patchie: I found Gerhold and Garron online, but Patchie just popped into my head and stuck there. I liked how quirky it was, so I went with it.
  • China: This one's a little different. I was thinking about Firefly and how the two major cultural influences in that series are America and China. That's one reason they all swear in Chinese, lol. Anyway, the Firefly series is an interesting mix of future tech and backwoods cowboy, and because Gambit has two similarly opposing environments, I thought China fit as a character name.
  • Arch and Kenzy: These stand for Archibald and Kenzington. But those are a mouthful, and who wants to call a wee blond toddler "Archibald" anyway? I suppose Patchie might, when she's angry. I like the nicknames, though. Kenzy was actually "Kaney" at first, and I ended up changing that when Kane Hill entered the picture.
  • Temsik Storm: Tem's first name actually has a significance that I can't reveal right now. It will only be brought out if I decide to go beyond The Prodigy Chronicles and write an Uprising series later (which I might do, if there's time). But his last name—and Kane's last nameare elements that foreshadow the struggles these two characters will go through.
  • Kane Hill: Kane's first name was originally Brock. But as I wrote him in, I kept picturing the actor Christian Kane in my head. He was such a badass in Leverage. Eventually, I couldn't write about him without seeing Christian's face, so I changed his name to Kane to make it more meaningful. After that, I changed Kaney to Kenzy to avoid repitition. Confused? Yeah, I was too for a while.
  • Fenneus and Morry: Fenn's name is a take on Phineas & Ferb (my kids were totally into The Disney Channel). Morry just popped into my head, and I later used it to name her not-so-authentic daughter, Morrigan.
  • Commander Reece: You may already know that Reece's name was strongly influenced by the intense teenage crush I had on Kyle Reese from The Terminator. What you don't know (yet) is whether this is his first name, last name, or only name. Don't worry, you'll find out in the sequel.
  • Aspen: This one popped into my head, too. I must like trees! And it wasn't until later that I discovered his nickname, Asp, refers to a cobra-like snake with deadly aim. Fits, though, doesn't it?
  • Thess: Another head-pop. Once I decided to keep it, I came up with Thadd for his father. His mum and sister will be introduced in the sequel.
  • Mercer: A street I used to drive on when I worked in Bloomington.
  • Hom: The last name of a very dear friend of mine.
  • Malcolm: A nod to Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly.
  • Rush: A nod to Dr. Rush from Stargate Universe.
  • Duncan: A nod to Duncan from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
  • Samson: A nod to the strongest man in the Old Testament and one of my favorite Bible stories as a child.

Wow, I didn't realize I had this many until I listed them all out. If your eyes started glazing over halfway through, I totally understand. ;)

 

Until next time... 

 

Image Credit: What's In A Name?

 

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C.L. Denault is the author of Gambit, a thrilling YA dystopian novel released March 2015 by REUTS Publications.

 

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