Friday, June 3, 2011

Frosty Names with Wendy Delsol

Today I am happy to welcome Wendy Delsol who is giving us new incentive to go pick up the sequel of her book, Stork, called Frost, by discussing the beautifully crafted Appellactians of this Icelandic tale.

I am so happy to finally share the cover of FROST. Artwork is an integral component of a book’s personality, more so when it captures the spirit of the book. Candlewick’s cover does indeed encapsulate the story. It also introduces the character of Brigid Fonnkona. Who is she? Who is she to Katla Leblanc, the book’s narrator? And what’s up with all the crazy names, anyway? Allow me to elaborate…

First, a little set-up: After the drama of discovering that she’s a Stork, a member of an ancient order of soul deliverers, Katla Leblanc is finally settling into her life in chilly Minnesota. In fact, the ex-California girl even hopes for a white Christmas. But Katla’s wintry wish unexpectedly turns into the snowstorm of the century, drawing the attention of Brigid, a gorgeous environmental researcher with an amazing array of fur coats and an unusual interest in Katla’s boyfriend, Jack. With elements borrowed from Norse mythology and Icelandic folklore, FROST is a modern-day retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s THE SNOW QUEEN.
Cover-girl, Brigid Fonnkona is, therefore, not the nicest gal you’ll ever meet. And I designed a name to hint at her icy personality. I chose her first name, Brigid (pronounced with a hard G), for its resemblance to the word frigid. Fonnkona I assembled from two Icelandic words: fonn for snow (snowdrift according to some references), and kona for woman. I did not use drottning, the Icelandic word for queen, as that would have been too obvious to Kat.

What about Katla Leblanc, you ask?  Katla is the name of a volcano in Iceland. I thought it had rich imagery and hinted at her spunky and fiery personality. For the record, my book was written and sold long before I ever read the HUNGER GAMES. Any similarity between Katla and Katniss is coincidence, but I digress. Regarding Kat’s last name, Leblanc—which is French for the white—it’s a reference to being a white witch, as her particular brand of magic is benevolent.

Perhaps I should insert a disclaimer here. I am not Icelandic. I do not speak Icelandic. I have never, alas, been to Iceland. I have an odd fascination for the island, however. And that’s the beauty of fiction, isn’t it? We can play with and borrow from sources without the pesky need for footnotes, citations, and references.

It’s harder to provide the back story for the name of Kat’s boyfriend, Jack Snjosson, without a spoilage factor. I think I can say this much without giving too much away: snjo is another Icelandic word (in prefix form) for snow. And about its pronunciation, I say it as SHNOW-SON, and I’m the author, so even if I’m a little off, it’s OK (see paragraph four, hee hee).

The name Hulda, who is Kat’s mentor and the wise leader of the Storks, translates to hidden one. Penny, I chose for an association with her coppery red hair, but her real name, Penelopa, will factor into book three (as yet untitled, BTW).

There is one more character who arrives in FROST and whose name has everything, and I mean everything, to do with their role in the story. Shame I can’t say more…

I do hope FROST’s cover and premise tempts a few readers out there. I can say this much, it was fun to write!


Idris said...

I always like to read how the authors decide their characters name and if that names has some meaning... And of course, specially those names, that are kind of different. : )

Bookish Brunette said...

Oooh awesome giveaway!!! I've so been wanting to read this!

RivkaBelle said...

This one keeps popping up and it's starting to definitely pull my interest now - esp with the Nordic elements! I'm a sucker for Norse legend/myth/fairy tales :oD

Great giveaway, and I really LOVED the glimpse into the names!!!