Welcome to author E.J. Russell and the Bad Boy’s Bard blog tour, book three in the Fae Out of Water series! She’s talking about naming characters today, and there’s also a great tour-wide giveaway, so be sure to check out those entry details below.
One of an author’s most teeth-gritting decisions (at least that’s the way I see it!) is deciding on character names. I am not a visual person, so the names—the words that represent my characters—are almost more important than their physical descriptions. When deciding on names for the characters in the Fae Out of Water series, I had a second issue: many of the characters are centuries old, so I needed surnames that had both an archaic and a modern version.
One of the most helpful resources I found was the website, Behind the Name. I was able to narrow the search to Welsh or Irish masculine names, for instance, or Scottish feminine names (I finally give the Queen a name in Bad Boy’s Bard!).
It also has a section on ancient names (including Celtic ones). That’s where I found the Kendrick brothers’ original last name: Cynwrig. Here’s the meaning, according to Behind the Name:
“Derived from Welsh cyn meaning ‘chief; and gwr meaning ‘hero, man;, plus the suffix -ig indicating ‘has the quality of’.”
Well, of course—perfect for my Welsh fae brothers, especially since the first one I imagined was Alun, Mr. Tortured Hero. I was able to click on the “Related Names” tab and voilá—there was “Kendrick” as an English equivalent, so I had both the ancient and modern versions of their surname.
The Unseelie King’s name was originally Eoghan because I had planned for Niall’s surname to be McKowen (modern version of MacEoghan, aka “son of Eoghan”), but then I named his brother Eamon, and two E names so close together? No, just no. So I had to search further, and came upon Tiarnach—“Derived from Irish Gaelic tigern meaning ‘lord’”—with “Tierney” as a related English name. So Niall became Niall O’Tierney to the modern world, but Niall MacTiarnach in Faerie (much as he’d like to deny any connection to his father whatsoever).
For David, I wanted a first name that had a Welsh equivalent (Dafydd) so that Alun could use it as a term of affection. For Bryce, I wanted a name steeped in Scottish history (I made him distantly related to Robert the Bruce), but that had a more modern flavor.
And the Queen? By the time I got around to naming her, I had exhausted so many letters of the alphabet that my choices were limited, but luckily I found a Scottish name that I loved, starting with an available letter: Caitríona. (Although nobody but Eamon would ever dare to call her that.)
About the Book
As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.
Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.
Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.
Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—
Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.
Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.
The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar. But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.
About the Author
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!