Naming Your Characters: The Terran Realm Names

I write both paranormal and historical romances and I try very hard to give my characters appropriate names. No Amber, Tiffany, Kevin or Chad for me. Usually. Oh, I have had characters named Mike and Julie in a story, but the alien, sex-sucking, shape-shifting villain in that same story was called Tzahyad. Very creepy sounding name, yes? But it’s a real word…in Hebrew. It means hunter and I thought it was quite appropriate for a predator like my villain.
I do this frequently — find words in foreign languages that I speak (or sing in) and use them within the context of a story. Often, the character will tell me their name or demand a new one! When I wrote THE SHIMMERING FLAME I had a name all picked out for my hero: Kevin. Well, I went to sleep after settling on that name and my guy popped in to tell me he didn’t care for it at all. Too “woosy” (his words). No, the name he wanted was Gabriel. Now, in Hebrew, Gabriel (or Gavriel) means “God is my strength”. Since Gabe is a Terran Protector, it was a fitting name. Kawsantower, his last name, is a transliteration of Cosantóir, the Gaelic for ‘protector’. Our heroine’s name was simple since she is, in actuality, Brigid, the Irish,demi-goddess. The various meanings of the name Brigid and its assorted spellings would take an entire post. What made Brigid so perfect as a Terran Keeper, is that the many talents of the demi-goddess were all powers of Terran Keepers who can control the elements.
Now, I have a love triangle in THE SHIMMERING FLAME. Uaithne, also an Irish Terran, is Brigid’s love from thousands of years ago. His spirit is reawakened in the character Ethan Clark. Ethan (Eitan) means strong in Hebrew and I felt that Ethan had to be a strong character. Uaithne is also the name of a demi-god in Irish mythology who played a magic harp and my modern day Ethan has his own magic harp. His last name, Clark, is in tribute to Tom Clarke, one of the heroes of the Irish Easter rebellion of 1916.
Now, the name of my villain was tricky. I wanted something really icky sounding. Nimhnach, his original name, is the transliteration of the Gaelic word for ‘venomous’. Nolan, his present day name, fits his Terran identity of a Speaker — someone who can control the actions and thoughts of humans. The Irish surname, Nolan means ‘shout’, an apt word for a Speaker who has become a Destroyer — a Terran baddie.
In A PERFECT SYMMETRY, the sequel, my foreign naming continues with Aviva Shiron, a Desert Terran who is a Singer — someone capable of controlling humans *and* Terrans. Aviva is a Hebrew name derived from the word for Spring and the first part of the name  Shiron, shir, means ‘song’ in Hebrew. All the new Irish Terrans — Machnamh, Eileen Murray, Casey Aidan — have names that were inspired by what type of Irish Terran they are.
You can find out more about my Liquid Silver Book, A Song of the SidheThe Shimmering Flame and A Perfect Symmetry, by checking out my blog, The Celtic Realm of Fancy at the following link: http://jeannebarrack1.wordpress.com/blog/. You’ll find a link for an excerpt for each story on their individual pages. To find out more about the Terran Realm, click on this link. To learn more about my m/m work and my Loose Id titles and my MLR Press titles, check out my other blogs: The Sweet Flag, Jeanne’s Worlds and my research blog, Jeanne Barrack’s Guideposts

And my name? Barrack means ‘lightning’ in Hebrew.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

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~ by Monette Michaels on February 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “Naming Your Characters: The Terran Realm Names”

  1. This was fun, Rae. Thanks again for having me!

  2. Thanks for being here, Jeanne. I am sure it is the same for most authors, but until I get the character’s name right, I can’t move forward with the novel. I have often found just changing the name of a character can unblock me when I get stuck. It’s as if the character won’t let me continue I until I get his or her name correct. Naming my main characters is the first thing I do after getting the opening scene in my head.

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