I like my names to sound like what they are—that way they’re easier for the reader to remember. So for instance, in Witch Song, one of the villains names is Wardof, which I created by combining ward (magical barrier) and off. ward off = Wardof
Garg, another villain, ends up blabbering a lot. He’s also kinda fat. Garg just sounds like a fat, blabbering kinda guy.
I always wanted to name Brusenna (the heroine) Senna, but that didn’t sound witchy enough for me. So I took brew (as in witches brew), changed the spelling, and added Senna to the back. Brew + Senna = Brusenna.
Joshen (the hero) is an easy going, laid back kind of guy. He’s always kidding or joshing around. I also have a cousin named Josh (I pull in family names every once in a while). Plus it just sounds good. Though I wouldn’t recommend pulling family names into books. All of a sudden you’re hounded at family reunions (especially when you have as big a family as I). Then they don’t like that you made them a villain, that the character was bald, or had some other random imperfection that they think was pulled from them.
I introduce some new characters in Witch Born. Krissin is named after my sister-in-law, Kristin. Ellesh is named after my MIL, Ellen (please see above for why you should NEVER do this).
Cord is named after my son. Also, he’s kind of tied to Senna.
Prenny after a high school friend named Penny.
Drenelle just sounded like a woman who adores lace.
Ciara from Tiara, cause Ciara acts like a princess.
Pogg is a frog man. Pond + frog = Pogg (I added an extra “g” to make it look more name-like).
Harshen is a harsh land.
Espen is from Aspen, because *spoiler alert!* the dark witch is turned into a tree with circular leaves. J
Grendi is taken from Glenda the Goodwich in Wizard of Oz (cause I like to twist things like that).
There’s also a couple names in there that only people from a certain demographic will recognize. ;)
Arianis is kind of a rival to Senna. And she’s a pain-in-the-ass = Arianis. See how that works. ;)
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