Friday, January 18, 2013

The Character of Names: A Modern Day Macbeth

The Character of Names from EXPOSURE: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Skye Kingston: 
We chose Skye because it’s a Scottish name that seems indicative of Alaska, where the book is set. Her last name, Kingston, alludes to the royalty so central to “Macbeth.” Craig calls Skye “Beanpole,” not only because she’s tall, but because she’s our interpretation of Banquo in the play, so we used a similar-sounding nickname to convey that.

Craig MacKenzie: The first and last names are both of Scottish origin. The homophone “crag” is a steep and rocky bluff, which is where we envision the castle of Dunsinane to be situated in Shakespeare’s play, and it also reflects the Alaskan topography. Though he is our “Macbeth” character, we didn’t want to go too literal, especially since he has many striking differences from the murderous Scotsman. 

Beth Morgan: We worked in the “Macbeth” angle most literally here, since she’s our version of Lady Macbeth. Morgan is another Scottish surname. 

Cat Ayuluk, Tess Littlefish and Kaya Gilbert: For our three “witches,” we researched names that were popular among native Alaskans, but which also sounded like names in keeping with their generation. Cat was originally “Cate” after Macbeth’s witch queen, Hecate, but since that spelling has a way of tripping readers up, we decided to shorten it to Cat.

Jillian Folger: The last name of the high school newspaper’s editor-in-chief is a nod to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

Leonard Livermore: We wanted the most unappealing name we could think of for Skye’s unwanted suitor in the book!

About the Authors

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of the Shakespeare-inspired YA series Twisted Lit. Tempestuous will be available on December 18, 2012 and Exposure will be available January 18, 2013 from Merit Press. Kim and Amy been writing together since 2004, when they launched Romancing the Tome, a blog dedicated to their obsession with book-to-film adaptations. For more information on their books, visit

1 comment:

Bookworm1858 said...

Loved the insight into the names! I didn't pay too much attention initially but I like how this added to my base of knowledge.