Names at Pembrook

Another post on The Wizard at Pembrook, this one on names.  Names usually take a long time for me to figure out; I almost never know what a character is called when I first meet them.  Once I get to know the character, I find out what they’re called.  In The Wizard at Pembrook, once I realised that this story reminded me of Jane Eyre, I was able to get the names.

Janet is one of the names from Jane Eyre.  Mr. Rochester called Jane that a lot, sort of a pet name, and I thought Pembrook house had a similar vibe to Thornfield Hall.  Wrenford just seemed to suit her.

Lord Fairfax is also Jane Eyre, after Edward Fairfax Rochester.  And Arthur was his first name so that’s what I called him.  Some names just fit some characters, I think they come with the name.

I called Etienne “stranger” in the first several scenes with him (one of  the first scenes I wrote was meeting him on the bridge, so I knew him very early on.)  When I was ready to name him, I was still thinking of him as “the stranger”.  French for stranger is “étranger” and that turned into Etienne.

I just sort of came up with the name Pembrook, I knew that’s what the house was called, so that’s what I called it.  It’s pretty obvious that it was influenced by Pemberly, but a little Mr. Darcy is always a good thing.

Names in Fantasy Kingdom XXI

Names are usually interesting to come up with, and since most of Fantasy Kingdom XXI takes place in another world, it needed unusual names.  Here’s how I came up with some of them.  

Phichorian is an odd combination of the name Orpheus (a musician from Greek mythology) and terpsichorean (a word derived from the name of a muse referring to dance).  Since he’s a bard, I thought those words fit him. 

Melissina was a name I thought I had read somewhere else that meant sweet.  Later I found out I’d misremembered the name, but I was already used to calling her that and I liked it, so I left it. 

If Melissina was sweet, then her fiancé would be her opposite.  “Amer” is the French word for bitter, so it became Amertious.   I think I already had King Regulous named, so the idea that noble names in Pelimaa ended in -ous was already in the back of my mind.  

Regulus is the name of a star in the constellation Leo; I thought the other spelling looked more like his name.  I changed the spelling of Rothgar too; it’s from Beowulf, but spelled Hrothgar in the poem.  Honorious, Amertious’s father, has the same ending.  I was watching MASH at the time, and Charles Emerson Winchester’s sister Honoria was mentioned in the episode, and Amertious’s father had his name.   

red dragon


Bobble was an easy one.  I wanted something knitting related and “Bobble” seemed to work better as a name than “Slip slip knit” or “Left Leaning Cable.”  If you don’t knit, a bobble is several stitches worked into one stitch than knitted together to make a raised ball kind of thing, almost like a smooth pompom.  

The other names were either words thrown together (Shellwood, Flamebringer) and not terribly interesting (although I just realised that the two wise women are opposites name wise.  Fire and water.  Interesting.) or might be spoilers for the book. 

There is one more, the last one I came up with, Pelimaa itself.  The place had no name for most of the time I wrote the book.  Peli is Finnish for game and maa for land.  Since the story world is based on Charles’s video game, that fit.

my web page is copyright 2010, 2011 Lisa Anne Nisula
%d bloggers like this: