Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mermaid Madness

Mr. Jim C Hines put out a call of questions to celebrate the release of his latest book, Mermaid Madness. I couldn't help but ask a question to my biggest issue as a writer. Here is what transpired.

Thanks for the question!
Q: Where did you get the name for your most difficult to name character?
A: That's a tough one. I can tell you who my easiest character to name was (Jig the goblin), but the hardest? In the current series, I'd have to go with Snow White, aka Ermillina Curtana. I wanted to use names that were associated with the old fairy tales, but most of those old tales never actually give the characters names. The characters are more symbols than people: the beautiful princess, the brave prince, the evil stepmother, and so on.
I was able to name the other two, but Snow continued to elude me until I finally discovered the name Ermillina in The Crystal Casket, an Italian fairy tale with elements similar to Snow White. I honestly don't recall where her last name came from. But even then I wasn't happy. "Ermillina" was a clumsy name to write out each time. The first draft of Stepsister Scheme had her going by "Lina," but I didn't like that either. I finally decided she was the kind of person who would be happy with her nickname, and everyone called her "Snow" from that point on.


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