A Life Of Fiction XII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Names: Names are important. By that I don’t mean the True Names of things (a trope which occurs more than once in my work). No, I mean the names of characters. I spend some time considering the names of my protagonists, both villain and hero.

The two characters who I have written the most words about are my gas-lamp fantasy heroes, Briggs and Prenderghast.

John Briggs: Nice and monosyllabic. It is an Everyman sort of a name. It seemed ideal or a character who I hoped that my readers would identify with, to a certain extent.

William Prenderghast: as befitting a Victorian wizard, Prenderghast possessed a slightly more ornate name (Prenderghast with an H, as he might say). Originally, in my notes, his first name was not William, but Aloysius. But that just did not seem to suit him). I try to pick names which suit the character.

Wizardly names: several of my wizardly characters, in my gas-lamp fantasy novels, possess names which may strike normal people as being a little odd. These are names, generally speaking, of members of long-established families which have produced several wizards in the past: surnames such as Kobold, Korred and Le Fay. A person with the surname Kobold – such as Sir John Kobold, who was Magician Royal at the beginning of my novels – hails from a family where the Magick is strong in the blood.

One reason for using such surnames is to suggest that a character comes from a family strong in Magick; and another is simply to add a little colour to the novels and to give a person reading my books the feeling that he’s reading something a little bit different.

One name, in a quartet of murder mystery novels – Murder by the Dozen, Murder by the Book, Murder at the Seaside and Murder in the Woods – which I did not invent was Gertrude Laurent de Marigny. The original character was created by Adrian Lucas for a Kult RPG campaign which I ran. She was used, with permission, in my four Gertie murder mysteries. The character was modified, to make her a mystic version of Miss Marple, as what I really wanted was her name. I felt that it deserved to be immortalised.

My name? No, that is not important at all…

In site news, the free story The Bog should now be on the site.

 

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