I’m participating in a blog tour for Serena Chase, who wrote the awesome Eyes of E’veria Series! Below you’ll find her article with the ‘behind the scenes’ story of some of the names and a few pronunciations…names that I’ve been saying completely different since I read the first story and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to think of them the right way. And stick around after the article because there’s a a free book and giveaway at the end you won’t want to miss. So, without further ado…
The Stories Behind the Names: the Eyes of E’veria Series
by Serena Chase
Across genres, there are often interesting stories about how authors choose names for the characters in their books, but in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, steam punk, etc.) those behind-the-scenes naming stories extend to places, objects, processes, abilities, and terminology—sometimes entire languages are even created! In this series of posts, which will be spread over time, as well as several blogs, my Facebook page, my newsletter—and eventually videos in which I will share pronunciations, as well—I will attempt to unveil the stories behind the names populating the epic fantasy novels The Ryn, The Remedy, The Seahorse Legacy, and The Sunken Realm, a few at a time.
For this post, I am focusing on names from Eyes of E’veria, book 1: The Ryn. Shall we dive in?
E’veria: This was not the original name of the world in this series. The first draft was nearly completed when I came across another work with the same world name I was using. So I changed it, did a Google search… and learned… that one was taken, too! And it went on like this for a LONG time. You would not believe the number of made-up names I went through before deciding to try… an apostrophe… to make the spelling of my world unique. Finally… ta-da! I found a name that was as-of-yet-unknown to Google, and—BONUS!—I sincerely liked how the word “E’veria” looked both interesting and a little romantic on the page.
And speaking of E’veria, readers know it is made up of nine provinces. Not all of the provinces have stories behind their names—some just “felt right” for whatever reason—but I’ll share a few of the ones that do.
Mynissbyr: Don’t laugh, but if you say it slowly in the way I pronounce it in my head (MINN-iss-beer) leaving room for creativity, it sounds a little like “man is bear” which works very well with the legends of that province concerning “The Bear-Men of Mynissbyr.”
Veetri: Since Veetri is loosely based on my idea of what Ireland might be like (unfortunately I’ve yet to visit and prove my suppositions—as well as hours and hours of travel shows—correct!) I wanted to get across the feeling of “green.” Words like “verdant” and “verde” (the Spanish word for green) came to mind… simple, perhaps, but those are thoughts behind naming “Veetri.”
Shireya: There is a classic Amy Grant song called “Sharayah” that has nothing to do with anything in E’veria, it’s not even one of my favorite Amy Grant songs, but for whatever reason, it was in my head when I was naming things in the world, so… twist the phonetic spelling a little bit and… there ya have it.
The Ryn: I wanted the heir to the throne to have a word that loosely sounded like (and “meant”) the word “reign.” It just made sense. (And by the way… I pronounce it like “tin”—I wonder how many of you have been saying Ryn like “Rhine” all these years…? Don’t worry… until it’s a movie, you can say it however you want, because reading is the theater of the mind!) The same reader pronunciation issue can arise with the character of…
Princess Rynnaia. Do you say rinn-NAY-uh, or Rinn-NIE-Uh? Or something else? I say Rinn-NAY-uh) Also, not to seem narcissistic, but my middle name is Renee, so … if you think “Renee” when you pronounce it, that’s how it is in my head. But you do what you want.)
Lord Whittier: In the first draft of The Ryn, this character played a much larger role. And he was… umm.. witty, so… *cringe* But I liked the name, it suited him, so… I kept it.
One synonym for the word “caprice” is “whimsy”—and being as Veetri is the home of Storytellers, and that “capriccio” is a musical term for “a short, lively piece of music”, I felt that since Lady Capricia was a musician (and petite!) it fit her.
Each of Lord Whittier and Lady Capricia’s sons were named in homage to some of my favorite authors of fantasy: Kinley (for Robin McKinley, author of The Blue Sword), Lewys (for C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia), and Rowlen(for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.)
Drinius: I originally spelled his name in a more complicated way… something like Drinaeus, except probably worse, I don’t recall. At an early editor’s suggested, I simplified it, making it more phonetically friendly for readers.
Lily: Since The Rynand The Remedy are an epic reimagining of the Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red (and Rose/Rynnaia is obviously the “Rose Red”), I wanted to find a name that portrayed purity, like snow. Lily is very pale, with white-blonde hair, porcelain skin, and I think of Easter lilies as having that sort of symbolism, so Lily worked for her name from the start.
Cobelds: I borrowed and adapted the German word for goblin, “kobold” for these nasty little old men.
Edru: since he is a scholar, I first named this character “Erud,” a shortened version of the word erudite, but I kept stumbling over the dull sound of that name, and although the reserved Andoven fellow comes off as dull when we first meet him, he has a deeper core… so I moved the letters around and was much happier with Edru, which was much friendlier-sounding to me. (And in case you were wondering, Edru was created and named long before Veronica Roth’s Divergent was published, so there is no connection to a faction.)
I wanted to give this wizened old man a name that was solid, and yet exuded comfort. I happened to have some Lindor AssortedTruffles
sitting on my desk (go figure.) So… Lindsor? Yep. Apart from the addition of an “s” to his name, he is named after chocolate, the ultimate comfort food.
What names and words of E’veria are you curious about? Tell me in the comments, and make sure to watch my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for news of when and where the next “Names of E’veria” post will appear!
SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a big white dog named Albus (yes, he was named after that
Albus.) A frequent contributor to USA Today
‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook
, and Twitter
(@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com
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